Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
306. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the value of regional aid granted under the regional aid guidelines granted by his Department or agencies under the remit of his Department in each of the past seven years; the value by county or lowest possible NUTS level over the period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30892/20]
The Regional Aid Guidelines (RAGs) - EU Regulation 2013/C209/01 - are open to SMEs and large enterprises, including those active in the processing and marketing of agricultural products into non-agricultural products i.e. products not covered by Annex 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Regional aid supports economic development and employment in disadvantaged regions of Europe. The RAGs set out the rules under which Member States can provide financial incentives to companies to invest in these areas. Regional aid is granted in the form of investment aid or, in limited circumstances, operational aid. Regional aid to large enterprises will only be granted to support new economic activities and/or diversification of existing enterprises into new products or new process innovations. Regional aid schemes should form an integral part of a regional development strategy and the investment must be maintained in the area for a specified period of time after its completion.
My Department does not operate any state aid schemes under the Regional Aid Guidelines. The agriculture sector has its own set of state aid rules and regulations, and the majority of state aid schemes granted to the agriculture sector are granted in accordance with these rules. A small number of schemes are operated in accordance with the General de minimis state aid rules.