The European Commission gave his approval for Greek’s map for granting the regional development aid between 2014 and 2020. This regional map is based on the new regional aid guidelines which have been adopted by the Commission last June (2013).
The guidelines set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to businesses for regional development purposes and aim to give better targeted assistance, support growth and more cohesion in the Single Market.
Greece, by adopting the regional aid map, will have more power to smoothly organize a transition from the current regional aid system towards the regional development strategy for 2014-2020 for all its regions.
The new regional aid map for Greece will cover its entire territory and 100 % of its population, because the country benefits from the European Stability Mechanism.
Seven areas (Anatoliki Makedonia and Thraki, Central Makedonia, Thessalia, Ipeiros, Western Greece, Peloponnisos and North Aigaio) have a GDP per capita below 75% of the EU average – covering 56.1% of the population of Greece – all of these will be eligible for regional investment aid.
The regional aid map defines the regions of a Member State eligible for national regional investment aid under EU state aid rules and will be in force between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2020.
The map also sets the maximum levels of aid that can be granted to regional investment projects carried out by large enterprises in the assisted areas at between 10% and 25% of total investment costs, depending on the area concerned. These intensities can be increased for investments carried out by medium sized enterprises by 10% and for small enterprises by 20%.
In the previous period of 2007-2013, four more areas had a GDP below 75% of the EU average.To ensure a smooth transition, the regions of, Ionia Nisia, Kriti, Dytiki Makedonia and Attiki covering 43.9% of the population of Greece, will continue to be eligible for regional aid until 2020.
As from 2018, the maximum aid intensities will be reduced, except for the areas of Kastoria and Florina that share land borders with a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and are therefore entitled to keep higher aid intensities.
The maximum aid intensities for regional investment aid in the Greek assisted regions have slightly decreased as compared to the previous aid map (by 5 to 15 percentage points, depending on the region).