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Potential applicants will be able to find below answers to some of the questions frequently addressed to the JTS concerning the first calls for proposals for ordinary project. While JTS do their utmost to avoid any errors or omissions, the answers given below are for general guidance, and are not to be considered as legally binding. For this reason the reader is encouraged to consult the source documents when these are referred to.

5. STATE AID RULES

Question 5.1. What is State Aid under the IPA Adriatic Programme?

The only State aid permitted by the IPA Adriatic Programme is the ones falling into the "de minimis" regime, as defined by the EC Regulation 1998/2006. It is permitted with a simply procedure: it is not necessary to notify to the European Commission; it is not necessary to respond to any derogation act. Thanks to its nature of financial aid of little proportion, it is not classified as really State aid, with sensitive impact on markets of the European and Programme area.

Question 5.2. Who has to apply the "de minimis" and Legal Status Declaration form?

All Final Beneficiaries have to fill this Declaration, but only who is acting into the project as undertaking (thus as an "entity engaged in an economic activity, regardless of its legal status and the way in which it is financed") has to specify, also, the subsidies in "de minimis" regime obtained in the last three financial years (point 8 of the "de minimis and the Legal Status Declaration").

Question 5.3. When activities fall into the "de minimis" regime?

Within the domain of competition law, an undertaking is identified as any entity which exercises an activity of an economic nature and which offers goods and services in competition (actual or potential) with other operators active in the market, carrying out activities of an economic nature, devoted to the production and marketing of goods and services in the market.
This is a very wide concept of undertaking, that also includes all private and public bodies or firms. Activities carried out within the framework of statutory tasks normally performed by public authorities do not fall within the concept of an undertaking, in view of their non-business purposes and procedures, but in many cases, however, local public or administrative bodies may be considered to be similar to undertakings. When assessing the whole range of activities of these bodies a pragmatic approach that takes into account the activities that will be implemented within the market is required. Waste disposal or treatment, for example, which in the past was the prerogative of local administrations or was provided by them outside the market logic, is now largely considered a business activity with a State aid relevance.
In general, a private (profit and no-profit) body has to justify in the Declaration why it is not acting in the project as an undertaking and for private (specific) interests, while a public entity and/or a body governed by public law has to specify and motivate in the Declaration if it is acting in the project as an undertaking and therefore not for public (general) interests.

Question 5.4. How Beneficiaries should calculate the maximum grants permitted?

In order to calculate the amount permitted only the "de minimis" aid received from any public institution (local, national or community) during the last three financial year, including the current year, is relevant. The total sum permitted during this period is Euro 200.000. This threshold, following the EC regulations and if the activity is anyway admissible in the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme, is reduced to EUR 100.000 in the road transport sector; to EUR 3.000 in the fishers and aquaculture sectors; to EUR 7.500 in the primary production of agricultural products.

Question 5.5. What happens when the maximum grants permitted to Beneficiaries under the "de minimis" regime exceeds the threshold?

If a Final Beneficiary had already benefit from the maximum subsidy permitted under the "de minimis" regime, the activity that falls into the "de minimis" regime cannot be supported by the public funds of the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme.
The Beneficiary could benefit from the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme public funds, until the grants obtained reach the maximum sum allowed under the "de minimis" regime. When an overall subsidy required by a Final Beneficiary acting as an undertaking into the project will exceed this ceiling, that aid amount cannot benefit from the "de Minimis" Regulation, even for a fraction not exceeding that ceiling. In such a case, the benefit of this Regulation cannot be claimed for this aid measure either at the time the aid is granted or at any subsequent time.
To avoid that the fixed threshold will exceed during the project implementation, the Final Beneficiary assignee of the Programme Contribution under the de minimis regime shall monitor the total grants registered in its accounting system, which are "de minimis" relevant" and have been obtained during the project implementation period.
In order to avoid circumvention of maximum aid intensities provided by different Community instruments, the "de minimis" subsidy should not be cumulated with State aid in respect of the same eligible costs if such cumulating would result in an aid intensity exceeding the ones fixed in the specific circumstances of each case by a block exemption Regulation or Decision adopted by the Commission.

Question 5.6. Shall a contractor of a Final Beneficiary be subject to the Programme rules on State aid ("de minimis" regime)?

Since such contractors are not beneficiaries of grants awarded by the Programme, being providers of Final Beneficiaries, they are not subject to the Programme rules on State aid (and thus to the "de minimis" regime).
Grants are financial contributions from the Programme to a public or private beneficiary and are based on the reimbursement of the eligible costs, in other words, costs effectively incurred by the Final Beneficiaries according to the Programme rules. Instead, in a procurement contract, the contractor is hired to run products or service in return for payment.

Question 5.7. Can the municipalities be affected by the state aid regime?

The public or private legal status of the Final Beneficiaries is not relevant in this context since even a non-profit organization can be engaged in industrial or commercial activities. The main requirement to consider is the nature of the activities (for general interests or having an industrial or commercial character) that the Final Beneficiary is going to carry out in the project.
Additional information about the state aid and the de minimis regime can be found in the Applicants' Manual, section 4.5.1 and in the Programme Management and Control Manual, section 4.4.

ACCESS TO THE M.I.S.

Dear users, we inform you that, due to an improvement to the network infrastructure, in order to have access to the M.I.S. we will have to replace the link  https://sso.adriaticipacbc.org/gestionale  with   https://sso.adriaticipacbc.eu/gestionale