The main developments in Serbian State aid during 2018, in eight short questions and answers:
1. How active was the Serbian State aid authority?
During 2018, the Serbian State aid watchdog – the Commission for the Control of State aid – rendered 59 decisions in total. This is up from 39 State aid decisions rendered last year.
In 58 instances the Commission cleared the examined aid while in one case it established that there was no State aid involved. The watchdog is still to issue its first incompatibility decision.
2. Aid examined ex ante or ex post?
A majority of State aid decisions, 47, were rendered after ex ante proceedings. That leaves 12 decisions which were rendered in an ex post procedure.
3. What was the total amount of approved aid?
During 2018, the Serbian State aid watchdog approved aid in the total amount of approx. EUR 320 million. This is down from approx. EUR 370 million – the total amount of State aid approved in 2017.
4. What was the highest amount of approved aid?
Individually, the highest amount of cleared aid was investment support scheme notified by the Ministry of Economy. The total amount of the approved scheme was approx. EUR 110 million.
5. Were there more schemes or individual aid?
State aid schemes dominated last year as well – during 2018, 41 decision pertained to State aid schemes and 17 to individual aid.
6.What was the State aid instrument most commonly used?
Once again, subsidies were the most commonly used State aid instrument: almost 90% of aid approved by the Serbian State aid watchdog pertained to subsidies. Another commonly used instrument of State support was giving investors land free of charge.
7. Who featured as the grantor of State aid?
During 2018, State aid was most commonly (in 68% of cases) granted by local self-government units. In addition, aid was awarded by ministries in 22% of cases while the provincial government and other grantors each awarded aid in approx. 5% of cases.
8.Which category of State aid dominated?
When it comes to the number of decisions, the highest number of decisions pertained to horizontal aid (41). This was followed by regional aid (15) and services of general economic interest (2).
The picture is a bit different when we consider the amounts of cleared aid – then regional aid dominates, followed by services of general economic interest, while horizontal aid is the last in line.
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