The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules Cyprus` map for granting regional aid from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2027, within the framework of the revised regional aid Guidelines (`RAG`) which was recently adopted.
Cyprus` regional aid map defines the Cypriot region eligible for regional investment aid. The map also establishes the maximum aid intensities in that eligible region. 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 49.46% of the population of Cyprus will be eligible for regional investment aid, under the derogation of Article 107(3)(c) of the TFEU (so-called ‘c` areas).
In order to address regional disparities, Cyprus has designated a so-called non-predefined ‘c` area, consisting of 359 local authorities, with a total of 413,225 inhabitants, and covering 49.17% of Cyprus` population.
In this area, the maximum aid intensity for large enterprises is 15%, based on a GDP per capita below 100% of the EU-27 average. That maximum aid intensity 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.
The revised RAG, adopted by the Commission on 19 April 2021 and in force since 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.
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.