State aid

State aid constitutes an interference with market processes and should be applied only in the most justified cases. Providing state aid to a specific undertaking requires prior consent from the European Commission. An exception in this regard is aid granted under block exemptions, i.e. based on specific provisions recognising certain categories of support as compatible with the internal market (e.g. aid for small and medium-sized enterprises). The notification requirement also does not apply to de minimis aid, i.e. smallscale support, that does not violate market competition principles. EC approval is also not required, as a rule, for aid to compensate for the provision of public services, for example rail and road passenger transport.

Support from public funds for undertakings may be granted on the basis of an aid scheme or as individual aid. The President of UOKiK issues opinions about projects providing for such aid in terms of their compliance with EU law and the requirement to notify the EC. The Office advises institutions responsible for providing state aid in Poland on this matter.

The President of UOKiK plays a key role in that process of notification of projects providing for the granting or modification of state aid. He notifies the EC of any intention to grant aid to an undertaking by a Polish administration body or any other public or private entity operating under state authorisation. Member States are obliged to refrain from implementing aid measures until the European Commission has issued a final decision on its compatibility with the EU law.

Another important competence of the President of UOKiK involves the monitoring of aid granted to undertakings in Poland based on reports filed by institutions granting aid. All data is exchanged and collected within the SHRIMP system (Aid Scheduling, Reporting, and Monitoring System).

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