General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)
The General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) sets out categories of state aid that have been declared compatible by the European Commission. For example categories such as regional investment and employment aid, SME investment, environmental protection aid and aid for newly created enterprises set up by women.
GBER simplifies the procedures for aid granting authorities and allows a range of measures with horizontal objectives considered to be in the common interest.
GBER is very important when it comes to social enterprises (including charities). Aspects of the Social Business Initiative set out a framework definition that recognises that social enterprises do not primarily distribute their profits to investors. A more widespread use of GBER could be made and this would be encouraged by a recognised GBER aid category for non-profit or low-profit social enterprises.
Member states are required to keep detailed records of aid schemes operating under GBER for 10 years from the date of granting each aid.