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?

Generally, there is no legal right for businesses in Denmark to obtain state aid. However, if legislation, for example, sets out conditions for obtaining state aid under a state aid scheme and an undertaking fulfils these conditions, the undertaking will normally be eligible for state aid under the scheme on terms equal to those of other applicants. The authority granting state aid may have some discretion regarding the granting of state aid - for example, if the budget does not allow the authority to grant state aid to all applicants. Applicants may refer to the principle of equal treatment.

Main award criteria

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

Danish authorities are bound by the rule-of-law principle and can thus only consider legal criteria. The relevant criteria considered in connection with the granting of state aid depend on the relevant aid measure or scheme. In past years, the following criteria have generally been rated highly: green transition, renewable energy, global marketing (eg, export promotion and tourism) and culture.

Strategic considerations and best practice

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

The main strategic considerations and best practices for application of state aid entail scouting for and being well informed of relevant aid schemes and the political climate. Applicants should also ensure that the application complies with the relevant criteria for receiving state aid and that national and EU state aid law is complied with.

Challenging refusal to grant aid

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

There are no special rules on challenging state aid decisions in Denmark. Unsuccessful applicants are in some instances but not always able to challenge a refusal to grant aid within the administrative system (administrative appeal). Such a challenge may also be brought before the Danish courts.

Involvement in EU investigation and notification process

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

The EU investigation and notification process is generally conducted by the authorities. The aid recipient may be involved in the process and is likely to benefit from supporting the authorities with information. This is particularly the case in large and complex state aid cases. However, there are no legal rules specifically regulating the position of aid recipients in state aid cases. Aid recipients may invoke general provisions under Danish public administrative law, including rules on access to public authorities’ files.