The European Commission has adopted a revised Notice on the application of EU State aid rules to the United Kingdom following its withdrawal from the EU. This follows the Joint Declaration by the European Union and the United Kingdom in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee of 24 March 2023 on the application of Article 10(1) of the Windsor Framework, which clarifies the circumstances under which subsidies granted in the UK are likely to fall under Article 10(1) of the Windsor Framework as they affect trade between Northern Ireland and the EU.
In line with the Joint Declaration, the Notice adopted today specifies that, for a measure to be considered to have a genuine and direct link to Northern Ireland and, therefore, to have an effect on the relevant trade between Northern Ireland and the EU, that measure needs to have real foreseeable effects on that trade. These effects should be material, and not merely hypothetical or presumed.
In this context, measures granted to a beneficiary located in Northern Ireland are more likely to present a genuine and direct link to Northern Ireland and therefore to be subject to EU State aid rules. On the other hand, for measures granted to a beneficiary located in Great Britain, the direct link to Northern Ireland and therefore the materiality of effects on trade with the EU, need to be assessed taking into account other factors, such as the size of the undertaking, the size of the subsidy, as well as the market presence of the beneficiary in the relevant market in Northern Ireland.
(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 2 298 70 24; Nina Ferreira – Tel.: +32 2 299 81 63; Sara Simonini- Tél.: +32 2 298 33 67)