state aid

SME status and the Financial Shield of the Polish Development Fund

The Financial Shield of the Polish Development Fund (PFR) is one of the most popular support instruments launched in relation to the coronavirus epidemic. Aid under the programme is differentiated and depends on the classification of the beneficiary as an SME (micro, small or medium-sized enterprise) or a large enterprise. So determining the size of the enterprise is crucial for assessing the potential benefits. Another difficulty is the change in eligibility conditions for SMEs introduced by the fund, which may affect the situation of entities considering applying for subsidies and those who have already received them. Some recipients may have to repay the aid.

Tax law and state aid

The basic tool for determining whether there is a grant of state aid is Art. 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. One of the ways a member state may be found to violate state aid rules is through its tax laws.

State aid in a special economic zone—benefits but also obligations

Classification of an income tax exemption as state aid entails a number of consequences extending far beyond tax issues.

Uncertain future of support for industrial electricity customers

The Energy Law is to permit industrial users to obtain certificates of origin and present them for redemption for only a portion of the electricity they purchase. But the future of this support mechanism has been called into question.

Buying on the cheap is no crime—at least not under TFEU Art. 107

In the SARC case, the Court of Justice of the European Union has held that an advantageous licence from a public university does not necessarily constitute impermissible state aid. The case also provides important guidelines on when an undertaking may seek to annul a decision by the European Commission finding that a competitor has not received impermissible state aid under TFEU Art. 263.

The spectre of having to return state aid

Failure to comply with the rules for award and use of state aid may result in the recipient being required to pay back the money. But the law provides beneficiaries of aid opportunities to defend their position on several fronts.