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How to identify state aid

There are four questions that should be considered before ruling out State Aid:

  1. Is the support granted by the state or through state resources?
  2. Does the support give a selective advantage to the undertaking? ‘Undertaking’ in this context is an entity which is engaged in economic activity, in this case, the charity or community interest company (CIC) receiving the resources
  3. Does the support distort or have the potential to distort competition?
  4. Does the support affect trade between EU member states?

There are a number of Commission frameworks and guidelines which provide guidance about how ‘undertakings’ (entities engaged in economic activity) may receive support from state resources and are therefore not subject to state aid rules. Among them are: