- They are based, operate, and will invest within the Greek territory.
- They are not active in non-eligible sectors, as described in detail below as "non-eligible enterprises".
- They are engaged in eligible economic activities in the agricultural and bio-economic sectors, as described below and
- Either they are small and medium-sized enterprises and employ fewer than 250 employees, measured in annual work units (AWU),
- either they are mid-caps employing between 250 and 3,000 employees, measured in annual work units (AWU).
Ineligible businesses and financing activities are:
The business’ eligibility is determined according to the economic activity codes in the EU (NACE), as provided by the EIB to NBG.
Irrespective of the eligibility of the economic activity code (NACE) relating to the main activity, any interested enterprise involved in any of the following activities is not eligible for EIB financing:
- activities related to the production or trafficking of arms and ammunition, explosives, equipment or infrastructure intended for military or police use and equipment or infrastructure which have as their effect the restriction of individual rights and freedom or the violation of human rights,
- activities that may lead to environmental impacts that cannot be largely mitigated or compensated for (including but not limited to, for example, projects in protected areas, critical habitats, and cultural heritage sites),
- activities which may be considered ethically or morally controversial or which are contrary to or prohibited by provisions of national law, e.g. animal testing and research on the cloning of human beings,
- activities prohibited by national legislation (where legislation exists) e.g. genetic modification, abortion clinics, nuclear power, etc.
In addition, and irrespective of the main activity of the undertaking concerned, any income from the following activities must not exceed 10% of the annual income of the undertaking concerned:
- activities aimed at producing or facilitating the use of games of chance and related equipment
- activities aimed at tobacco production, processing, or specialized distribution of tobacco and activities facilitating the use of tobacco (e.g. smoking rooms).
Apart from the above exceptions relating to exempted sectors or activities, financial holding companies whose sole economic activity is to own and manage portfolios of equity holdings and/or investments in other companies are not eligible.
Specific eligibility conditions for investments in the agricultural and/or bio-economy sector:
- Investments in greenhouses: Investments in unheated greenhouses are eligible. Investments in heated greenhouses are not eligible, except for those greenhouses heated 100% by renewable energy sources (including biomass) and those existing greenhouses heated by non-renewable energy sources that are upgraded through this funding to include a level of renewable energy and/or energy efficiency measures that result in net greenhouse gas savings or those greenhouses that do not have a fixed (integrated) heating system. In any case, the water supply of such greenhouses must be sustainable, and pesticides, run-off, and their overall impact must comply with EU environmental and social standards.
- Investing in biogas: If the investment concerns the construction of small biogas plants (with a total investment cost of up to €5.000.000), at least 25% of the materials used must be provided by one or more shareholders of the business (e.g. farmers, food processors, wastewater treatment operators) to ensure the medium-term operational viability of the investment. For a larger biogas plant (with total investment costs exceeding €5.000.000) to be eligible for EIB financing, acceptable and legally binding long-term contracts for the supply of raw materials (more than 5 years) are required. These supply agreements must explicitly include contractual clauses allowing the operator/producer to obtain at any time and at reasonable cost appropriate materials to ensure the continued operation of the biogas plant during the project.
- For the purposes of eligibility of investments in the irrigation sector, the financed enterprise must ensure that it has officially recognized water rights for the use of water to transform and/or modernize its facilities.
Eligibility criteria for Young Farmers
Beneficiaries of the additional economic advantage of the program are those enterprises (including sole proprietorships) which are engaged in an eligible economic activity, which is part of the agricultural and bio-economic sectors and which is owned and controlled by a person who is:
- an active farmer and head of the agricultural holding, and
- he/she is under 41 years of age on the date of signature of the contract.
Eligibility is conditional on both criteria being met.
The agriculture and bioeconomy sectors encompass all economic activities in the value chain, including primary agricultural production, upstream and downstream production, paper industry, including pulp, bioenergy production, natural resource protection, production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food and feed, organic products and bioenergy, and retail/wholesale of food and catering services.