Exemptions

As has been discussed for the other two countries (Sects. 5.4.13 and 5.5.13), it is impossible to make a general determination of the potential for exemption under Article 101(1) TFEU, because it depends too much on the individual cases and, with regards to BERs, on market shares. Yet, as we have also seen in Chap. 3 (Sect. 3.3.2), especially the Technology Transfer, Research and Development and Specialisation BERs might be applicable.

As in the other two countries, the amount of funding provided through public calls differs, according to the interviewees, significantly from a few thousand Euros to up to €8 M per annum or even €20 M per annum for institutional funding through the Excellence Initiative.[1] As regards state aid, smaller projects could benefit from the de minimis rules unless aid cumulates above the relevant thresholds, the exemptions in the GBER and the SGEI Decision. As regards the SGEI Decision and the SGEI de minimis rule, the service in question would, of course, have to qualify as an SGEI (Sect. 5.5.14 below). When it comes to exemptions under the GBER the relevant conditions discussed in Chap. 3 (Sect. 3.3.5) would have to be fulfilled, especially as regards transparency. In Germany, as in the Netherlands, the amounts of funding provided are higher than in England and, therefore, there is more scope for potential aid falling outside of the exemptions. However, such 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. As regards the especially relevant Article 107(3)(c) this would need to be evaluated in the individual case according to the guidelines in the Research Framework.

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  • [1] On the Excellence Initiative see further Chap. 4 (Sect. 4.4.2.2 “Public Competitive Funding”).
 
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