Member States allowed to spend EU structural funds to co-finance Horizon Europe partnerships
Member States are now allowed to spend EU structural funds to co-finance Horizon Europe partnerships and research projects that receive the European Commission’s seal of excellence.
The European Commission adopted on 23 July 2021 an extension of the scope of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), which will allow Member States to implement certain aid measures without prior Commission scrutiny. The revised rules concern: (i) aid granted by national authorities for projects funded via certain EU centrally managed programmes under the new Multiannual Financial Framework; and (ii) certain State aid measures that to support the green and digital transition and are, at the same time, relevant for the recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the aim of improving the interplay between EU funding rules and EU State aid rules under the new Multiannual Financial Framework, the Commission streamlines the State aid rules applicable to national funding of projects or financial products, which fall under the scope of certain recently adopted EU programmes. With the amendments introduced today to the GBER, the rules on EU funding and State aid rules applicable to these types of funding have been aligned to avoid unnecessary complexities, while at the same time preserving competition in the EU Single market.
The concerned national funds are those relating to:
- Financing and investment operations supported by the InvestEU Fund;
- Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) projects having received a “Seal of Excellence” under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe, as well as co-funded research and development projects or Teaming actions under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe;
- European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) projects, also known as Interreg.
In addition, with the amendment of the GBER, the Commission creates even further possibilities for Member States to provide aid needed for the twin transition in a way that will also allow them to rapidly support companies in need for funding to combat the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Access the full EC press release at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_3804
Source: European Commission @ European Union, 1995-2021