Practical question: SGEI de minimis regulation

How can we (still) apply the SGEI de minimis Regulation?

May 2019

Question

Our municipality would like to apply the services of general economic interest (‘SGEI’) de minimis Regulation in order to grant state aid. The period of validity of this Regulation is however expiring. Can we still apply this Regulation and if so, what should we do?

BRIEF Answer

It is still possible to make use of the SGEI de minimis Regulation because the term of the current SGEI de minimis Regulation has been extended by the European Commission untill the end of 2020. This extension can be found in Regulation 2018/1923. In order to apply the Regulation correctly, the general interest of the supported activity must be verifiable. Besides, the threshold for the SGEI de-minimis support is € 500.000,-. When applying the SGEI de minimis Regulation, no separate notification or reporting exercise is required.

Extension

The ‘original’ SGEI de minimis Regulation came into force in 2012 and would expire by the end of 2018. As the European Commission did not see any ground for changes, the duration of the Regulation was (in 2018) extended untill the end of 2020. The goal of this extension is to ensure judicial protection and decrease in red tape in case of limited compensation for providing services of general economic interest by a market party.

Applying the regulation

When applying the de minimis Regulation, pay attention to the following:

  • A clear and motivated description of the general economic interest of a specific service is important in order to grant support to it;
  • The undertaking carrying out the respective service needs to be informed about the application of the SGEI de minimis Regulation;
  • The undertaking carrying out the respective service needs to hand in a so called de minimis declaration in which it can prove compliance with the provisions related to the cumulation conditions which are set out in the Regulation.