MORE AND MORE STATE AID IS GRANTED IN LITHUANIA
Having summarized information received from the European Commission, Konkurencijos taryba prepared a report on state aid granted in Lithuania in 2018.
In 2018 a total of 568.68 million euros of state aid was granted in Lithuania, which means that the amount of aid granted increased by more than a quarter in comparison to 2017 and 3 times in comparison to 2014.
The increase in granted state aid is linked to the end of the EU structural funds programming period 2013-2020. At the beginning of the programming period relevant legislation was reviewed and amended, new support measures were developed, while during the second half of the period these measures were implemented.
Last year the majority of state aid measures were implemented in the sectors of culture, energy and environmental protection. State aid was also granted for scientific research, employment, training, transport, agriculture and other support measures.
Only aid which is granted by the State through its own resources to certain economic operators or to the production of certain goods or services, thereby conferring an exceptional economic advantage which would not otherwise occur under usual market conditions and which threatens to distort competition and affect trade between the EU Member States is qualified as state aid.
Konkurencijos taryba is the coordinating body for state aid to which the EU state aid rules apply. The authority evaluates state aid projects, provides opinions and recommendations to state aid providers, collects information on granted state aid and maintains a Register of Granted State Aid and De Minimis Aid.
Konkurencijos taryba also provides advice to public authorities and undertakings in order to help them with the assessment of state aid measures. The authority also conducts trainings explaining why state aid requires prior authorization from the European Commission. State aid granted without prior authorization is considered unlawful and if the European Commission declared it incompatible with the internal market, it could be recovered from aid beneficiaries with interest.