Welcome to the website of the State Aid Monitoring Office

The State Aid Monitoring Office (SAMO) is responsible to ensure compliance with the EU State aid rules in Hungary. SAMO functions within the Minstry of European Union Affairs.

The legal background for implementing State aid control is Government Decree 37/2011. (III. 22.) on procedures relating to State aid measures under EU competition law and the regional aid map. The Government Decree contains procedural rules relating to prior notification obligation of State aid measures, sets out cumulation provisions of aid coming from different sources, serves as a legal basis for the Hungarian regional aid map, establishes rules relating to transparency of State aid measures and lays down the rules on the required content of aid measures.

The procedural rules of the Government Decree oblige all aid grantors to notify their planned aid measures to SAMO, which is responsible for assessing the compatibility of each proposal with relevant EU rules and regulations.

SAMO also provides guidance and assistance to the aid granting bodies when they draft a specific aid measure to ensure compatibility with EU law.

The procedure followed by SAMO depends on the characteristics of the planned aid measure. Should SAMO find during its preliminary assessment that a measure would be incompatible with EU State aid rules, it can recommend modifications. SAMO can also ask for additional information from aid grantors, should it be needed. Aid grantors should co-operate with SAMO at the preparatory stage their respective State aid measures.

In case of a State aid measure where the approval from the European Commission is needed, SAMO represents Hungary and serves as an intermediary between aid grantors and the Commission. SAMO keeps the aid grantor informed of any additional questions and decisions of the Commission concerning the notified aid measure. SAMO is responsible for sub-scheme (calls for applications) control as well.

Apart from State aid control and representing Hungary in proceedings before the Commission, SAMO has other duties such as compiling the annual report on aid and fulfilling Hungary’s obligation in the field of State Aid Transparency. SAMO also coordinates the Hungarian position regarding ’appropriate measures’ proposed by the Commission for the amendment of existing aid schemes and plays a key role in formulation the official national position on State aid related legislation.

Moreover, SAMO keeps the aid grantors informed about the recovery or suspension of any aid scheme or individual aid assessed by Commission. SAMO monitors whether all necessary steps have been taken to execute the decision on recovery or suspension.

Furthermore, SAMO regularly publishes articles on State aid in the State Aid Law Journal which provides updates on State aid legislation, on Commission and Court of the European Union decisions and on the assessment of national practices.

SAMO represents a privileged link between the European Commission and aid grantors, and helps national objectives to stay compatible with EU competition law.