The European Commission has recently published a call for evidence on “State aid – exemptions for small amounts of aid (de minimis aid) (update)”.

In its feedback, CECOP has called for an increase of the de minimis threshold for state aid and special conditions for cooperatives providing social, health and care services. CECOP’s full response to the call for evidence can be found below:  

CECOP, the European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives, supports European Commission’s proposal to increase the amount of the de minimis threshold for state aid, in view of the constantly increasing cost of life.  

Additionally, we see de minimis state aid as an important tool through which Member States can support cooperatives, important providers of social, health and care services. These services are by their nature local and do not have an impact on competition and trade in the internal market. Moreover, they serve an essential public and general interest role through increasing social cohesion. As recognized by the Social Economy Action Plan, “The social economy complements Member States’ action in delivering quality social services in a cost-effective manner.” For this reason, we request the Commission to introduce a higher de minimis threshold for cooperatives providing social, health and care services. Given their essential role in promoting social cohesion, this threshold should also be higher than the ceiling for SGEI generally allowed under Regulation 360/2012 (EUR 500 000).  

We refer additionally to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee INT/981 on “State aid / health and social services”.