Exemptions

As has been discussed in relation to England in Sect. 5.3.13, it is impossible to make a general determination of the potential for exemption under Article 101 TFEU, as this would depend too much on the individual cases and, in the case of BERs, on market shares. We have, however, seen (Sect. 5.4.9) that the specialisation BER could be particularly relevant. As in England, the amount of funding provided through public calls differs, according to the interviewees, significantly from a few thousand Euros to up to €30 M per collaborative project or even €40 M for institutional funding through the gravitation programme. As regards state aid, smaller projects could thus equally benefit from the de minimis rules if they do not accumulate to above €200,000 over three fiscal years (or €500,000 if an SGEI is given), the exemptions in the GBER and, if projects can be classified as providing an SGEI (Sect. 5.4.14 below), from the €15 M threshold in the SGEI Decision. The amounts of funding provided through public calls are much higher than in England, though. Therefore there is more room for potential aid falling outside of the exemptions. The measures, if classified as infringing the state aid provisions, might then still be able to utilise Article 107(2) and (3) TFEU as an exemption generally, which would need to be evaluated in the individual case taking into account relevant guidelines, especially the guidelines in the Research Framework as regards Article 107(3)(c) TFEU.

 
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