Search
  1. State aid

ExpertiseState aid

Knowledge of competition rules has been brought together in the Competition, Market Regulation & State Aid section. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and the European Commission (EC) monitor compliance with these rules. As well as the ACM, other supervisory bodies such as the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) are also active in the field of market regulation.

Knowledge of competition rules has been brought together in the Competition, Market Regulation & State Aid section. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) and the European Commission (EC) monitor compliance with these rules. As well as the ACM, other supervisory bodies such as the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and the Dutch Healthcare Authority (NZa) are also active in the field of market regulation.

State aid law prevents unfair competition in the event the government favours an enterprise. State aid is a broad term. Aid measures can take any form, such as subsidy, guarantee, option, land transaction, loan and taxes or social insurance contributions. Governments may in principle only actually pay state aid if they have reported their intention to grant state aid to the EC, and if the EC has subsequently given its approval. Aid measures that comply with a ‘de minimus-scheme’ or (group) exemption are, under strict conditions, exempt from this obligation to report. If aid is granted for carrying out services of general economic interest, special rules apply. In the event of unauthorised state aid, the undertaking runs the risk of having to repay the received aid.

In the most extreme case this may lead to nullity of the cooperation agreements between the beneficiary of the state aid and the providing government. Undertakings have their own responsibility in assessing whether state aid has been granted in accordance with the rules.

Governments are also bound by the rules of Public Enterprises (Market Activities) Act [Wet Markt en Overheid]. On the basis of this act, governments must adhere to particular rules of conduct, such as the obligation to charge on the integral costs for carrying out economic activities. The ACM monitors the compliance with these rules.

The rules of state aid provide opportunities for one party whilst they may mean an impediment or risk for another party. Our lawyers in this section have wide experience with the application of state aid law and special expertise in the field of services of general economic interest and the rules of conduct for governments.

We act for both undertakings and governments and advise them on and assist them with: 

  • advice on the question whether state aid is actually provided 
  • notifying support measures to the European Commission 
  • advice on, and issuing notifications, on the basis of the (group) exemptions 
  • advice on, and drafting of, state aid-proof contracts for both governments and (possible) beneficiaries  assessing and preparing state measures with state aid aspects 
  • conducting proceedings in state aid matters, including challenging state aid 
  • assessing and assisting (decision-making relating to finance) services of general economic interest in the field of state aid and the Public Enterprises (Market Activities) Act 
  • advice and assistance during/against economic activities of governments 
  • advice and assistance during (submission of) a complaint to the ACM due to a breach of the Public Enterprises (Market Activities) Act rules of conduct