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State aid: Commission approves 2022-2027 regional aid map for France

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the map of France for granting regional aid from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2027 within the framework of the revised Regional aid Guidelines (‘RAG').

The revised RAG, adopted by the Commission on 19 April 2021 and entered into force on 1 January 2022, enable Member States to support the least favoured European regions in catching up and to reduce disparities in terms of economic well-being, income and unemployment – cohesion objectives that are at the heart of the Union. They also provide increased possibilities for Member States to support regions facing transition or structural challenges such as depopulation, to contribute fully to the green and digital transitions.

At the same time, the revised RAG maintain strong safeguards to prevent Member States from using public money to trigger the relocation of jobs from one EU Member State to another, which is essential for fair competition in the Single Market.

The regional aid map of France defines the French regions eligible for regional investment aid. The map also establishes the maximum aid intensities in the eligible regions. The aid intensity is the maximum amount of State aid that can be granted per beneficiary, expressed as a percentage of eligible investment costs.

Under the revised RAG, regions covering 31.95% of the population of France will be eligible for regional investment aid:

  • Outermost regions can be designated by Member States as eligible for aid under Article 107(3)(a) TFEU (so-called ‘a' areas). In France, six outermost regions (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, La Réunion, Mayotte and Saint-Martin) will continue to be eligible for aid as ‘a' areas. In these areas, the maximum aid intensities for large enterprises vary between 40% and 70%, depending on the GDP per capita of the respective outermost region.
  • France has the possibility to designate so-called non-predefined ‘c' areas, up to a maximum of 28.68% of the national population. The specific designation of these areas can take place in the future and would result in one or more amendments to the regional aid map approved recently.

In all the above areas, the maximum aid intensities can be increased by 10 percentage points for investments made by medium-sized enterprises and by 20 percentage points for investments made by small enterprises, for their initial investments with eligible costs up to €50 million.

Once a future territorial Just Transition plan in the context of the Just Transition Fund Regulation will be in place, France has the possibility to notify an amendment to the regional aid map approved recently, in order to apply a potential increase of the maximum aid intensity in the future Just Transition areas, as specified in the revised RAG for ‘a' areas.

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