Important legal notice
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Article 87 of the EC Treaty (ex Article 92)


  1. Save as otherwise provided in this Treaty, any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, insofar as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the common market.

  2. The following shall be compatible with the common market:

    (a) aid having a social character, granted to individual consumers, provided that such aid is granted without discrimination related to the origin of the products concerned;

    (b) aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences;

    (c) aid granted to the economy of certain areas of the Federal Republic of Germany affected by the division of Germany, insofar as such aid is required in order to compensate for the economic disadvantages caused by that division.

  3. The following may be considered to be compatible with the common market:

    (a) aid to promote the economic development of areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is serious underemployment;

    (b) aid to promote the execution of an important project of common European interest or to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State;

    (c) aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas, where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest;

    (d) aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading conditions and competition in the Community to an extent that is contrary to the common interest;

    (e) such other categories of aid as may be specified by decision of the Council acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission.