The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment's State Aid role falls under four broad categories:
State Aid policy
The EU State Aid legal framework is continually evolving. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment's State Aid Unit is the national point of contact at EU level on State Aid policy. The State Aid Unit engages with the Commission and other Member States in the ongoing development of the State Aid Framework. While overall competence for this area of EU law rests with the Commission, Member States can engage with the Commission to represent the national positions on the scope and conditions of the State Aid Framework.
It is the role of the State Aid Unit to ensure that Ireland’s national interest are represented in the ongoing engagement with the Commission and other Member States in the development of State Aid policy.
State Aid Modernisation
The most significant part of State Aid policy is the State Aid Modernisation (SAM) Programme. Since 2012, the SAM Programme has shaped the State Aid rules and ensured they remain appropriate and fit for purpose. The State Aid Unit represents Ireland in the SAM Programme and on the SAM Working Group.
More information on State Aid Policy and the State Aid Modernisation Programme are available on the Commission’s website: State Aid Modernisation (europa.eu)
Provision of specific guidance
We are available to provide guidance on any queries or to assess compatibility of schemes with any government department who requires this service. We also have a good working relationship with the EU Commission and if needed can approach them to request guidance on any issues that fall outside of the current regulations. We would ask that you provide us with a document outlining how the proposed scheme would work well in advance of a ‘go live’ date. Remember, it is advantageous to consult us in the early stages of a scheme to ensure it is compliant, it is much more difficult to amend a scheme to fit one of the regulations.
Please note that if you intend to go down the route of a notified scheme (outside the scope of any of the guidelines or regulations) this is a lengthy and onerous process that could take up to a year. Please ensure these timeframes are factored into your scheme project plan.
State Aid awareness and training (for Granting Authorities)
We provide State Aid training throughout the year to granting authorities. This can be specifically targeted to new additions to the policy or an overview of State Aid for anyone new to the topic. These training sessions are free of cost. If you would like to attend one of these training sessions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compliance with State Aid procedures
The State Aid Unit ensure compliance of the Department's Industrial Development schemes in line with EU State Aid rules and advise and assist other Departments to achieve the same in relation to their schemes.
Where needed, we notify aid schemes via the SANI to be implemented by the Department and its agencies to the EU Commission and obtains Commission decisions that the schemes are in accordance with the EU State Aid rules, notably Articles 107 to 109 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Previously dealt with primarily by Articles 87 to 89 of the Treaty establishing the European Community). We also advise other Departments on achieving similar decisions in relation to their schemes. (Separate State Aid rules apply in respect of Agriculture, Fisheries, and most aspects of Transport; these fall within the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Department of Transport, and the Department Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media).
If you require access to the SANI please contact the unit to request this.
State Aid schemes
All Irish schemes can be seen on the Commission website at Competition Policy (europa.eu). These can be searched using the scheme number or by Member State in the advanced search facility.
Transparency of State Aid
Transparency Aid Module (TAM)
In line with the State Aid transparency rules, as of 1 July 2016, Member States are required to notify, on a public website, beneficiaries of all individual aid awards above certain thresholds. These should be notified on the TAM. Should you require access to the TAM please contact the unit.
The SARI system informs the Scoreboard information which provides insights into aid expenditure made by member states. This does not include railways or crisis frameworks. YouTube videos on using the SARI are accessible through the system under the ‘?’ bubble below the user's name on the homepage. If you need access to this system please contact Stateaidireland@enterprise.gov.ie. Granting authorities must input the required information before a date in May each year. Our unit will send a notification prior to the deadline to all departments that have schemes notified.
Contact the State Aid Unit
State Aid Unit,
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment,
23 Kildare Street,