What is the "State Aid Unit" (StAU)?

StAU is an advisory body, that operates at CIEEL as an expert consulting to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and assists the public authorities while granting state aids.

Why was StAU established?

Granting state aids to undertakings is not permitted under the EC Law and is exceptionally allowed, only when they are compatible with the Common Market.

The European Commission is exclusively competent to decide about the compatibility of state aids. The national authorities, that grant state aids, should notify their aid schemes to the European Commission, before applying them.

This system, of in principle prohibiting state aids and exceptionally allowing them, presents a lot of interpretative and practical problems. Thus the StAU, looks after the proper application of state aid rules by the competent public authorities.

Furthermore, StAU intends to systematize the state aid sector in Greece, by setting up two electronic databases, one concerning the Greek state aids and the other one concerning state aid legislation and case law.

What services does StAU provide?
  • legal opinions and consulting services to the authorities granting state aids

  • electronic research for Community state aid law

  • electronic research for Community and Greek jurisprudence on state aids

  • electronic research for European Commission's decisions concerning state aid, published in greek

  • informing legal society and undertakings about state aid issues through organising academic events (conferences and seminars) and through publishing of an interpretative Guide and an Edition on Community Texts and Documents.

To whom does StAU address?

StAU provides its services mainly to the public authorities granting state aids and cooperates with them closely. In addition, StAU provides its services to jurists (lawyers, judges or academics) or undertakings wishing to be informed on state aids, by: a) organizing academic events b) its publishing activity c) setting up specialised databases for Community legislation and for Community and national jurisprudence, as well as for Commission's decisions.

What kind of consulting services does StAU provide?

StAU provides consulting services to public authorities granting state aids on the following matters (indicatively):

  • whether an economic measure raises any question of state aid, i.e. if it constitutes state aid and, therefore, should be notified to the European Commission,

  • in case such a measure is considered to be state aid, how should it be formulated, when notified, so that the European Commission will asses its compatibility with the EC state aid law (i.e. it must comply with the compatibility rules set out in Commission’s Guidelines, in “block exemption” Regulations, in the de minimis Regulation etc. However, StAU is not competent to notify the planned state aid to the Commission),

  • the way that EC courts and the Commission interprets the EC rules set out in the Treaty, in guidelines, in "block exemption" regulations, or in the de minimis Regulation etc.

Who has access to the two databases of StAU?

The database concerning Greek state aids is accessible only to public authorities granting state aids, as its main purpose is to assist them in matters of aid cumulation.

The database concerning state aid legislation and jurisprudence is accessible through Internet to everybody.

Diske & agora MoKE State Aid Guide
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