Considerations for aid recipients

Legal right to state aid

Is there a legal right for businesses to obtain state aid or is the granting of aid completely within the authorities’ discretion?

In principle, there is no legal right for businesses to obtain state aid; aid may be granted at the relevant public authority’s discretion subject to other administrative law requirements. This said, if aid is granted under a programme to which access is determined by conditions, applicants will need to be treated equally, subject to budget constraints.

Main award criteria

What are the main criteria the national authorities will consider before making an award?

There are no general criteria that a public authority will consider before granting aid; this will be dependent on the purpose pursued by and the conditions for the relevant aid measure. As regards eligibility for aid, the procedural rules set out in Swedish Acts all refer to the relevant EU instruments.

Strategic considerations and best practice

What are the main strategic considerations and best practices for successful applications for aid?

Potential applicants should keep themselves informed of state aid schemes relevant to them, including information on the political purpose of the scheme, the deadline for applications, the conditions that applicants need to fulfil and award criteria. Should an application for aid be unsuccessful, it may be possible to appeal that decision.

Challenging refusal to grant aid

How may unsuccessful applicants challenge national authorities’ refusal to grant aid?

A public authority’s decision not to grant aid may under certain conditions be appealed to the administrative courts.

Involvement in EU investigation and notification process

To what extent is the aid recipient involved in the EU investigation and notification process?

The process with regard to the Commission is entirely the responsibility of the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation; the Ministry handles all formal steps in the procedure and all contacts with the Commission. Other parties may be called upon to provide information: the SAA and the procedural regulations set out an obligation for a body that proposes to grant aid to inform the government of its intention and provide information regarding such aid. Likewise, any party that may possess information required for a state aid matter before the Commission is under an obligation to provide such information on request. In certain cases, the aid recipient may need to be involved further, depending on the nature of the case.

Regardless of formal procedure, it should be noted that generous rules of access to documents of the Swedish administration may enable third parties to obtain documents, such as correspondence, relating to a particular case.