What is a de minimis grant?
It is prohibited to give companies or production sectors in the European Union grants, which cause distortion in competition by affecting the trade between the EU member states (EC-Treaty Art. 87 § 1). In certain cases the European commission can however grant subsidies as an exception. In order to decide whether this may involve an exception, each grant a company benefit from needs to be registered by the European Commission in Brussels (Notification). Then the European Commission decides whether the relevant subsidies are granted or not regarding the EC Treaty.
In order to simplify this process the de minimis regulation was introduced. Thereafter subsidies, which are below a certain minimum level don’t have to be notified and approved by the European Commission. This applies to grants which are given to individual companies by the state or by public authorities within the current fiscal year and the last two calendar years with a value of up to 200.000 Euro in total (100.000 Euro in the field of road transport sector). The commission is assuming that these smaller subsidies will have no significant impact on trade and competition between the member states. (Source: German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology)
Why do participants of INNOTRAIN IT trainings have to sign a de minimis declaration?
INNOTRAIN IT is a project which is co-funded by the European Union (EU) that is why the trainings are free of charge. The participation in these free of charge trainings is regarded as a grant to companies or production sectors.
You can find further information on the pages of the European Union