France : State aid in favour of the "GAYA" project
On 18 August 2009, France notified the European Commission their intention to support trough the environment and energy ageny ADEME a project entitled "GAYA", led by the energy group GDF Suez. The project consists in the development of a new renewable energy production system based on biomethane. The program is estmated to cost 46.5 million euros and will last 7 years.
The aforementioned measure consists in financial support trough direct subsidies. The aid will amount 42.5 million euros, shared among GDF Suez ( 36'741'452) and 9 other participants. (SME's, research labs and energy agencies). The program is estimated to be ended by 31 December 2016.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid within the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU and gave the following assessment:
State resources are involved in the notified scheme since the aid is granted from national state resources through the ADEME. The measure is selective since it grants financial support to GDF Suez, to which it provides an advantage by contributing to R&D expenses.
[...] The measure is likely to affect trade between Member States since the scheme applies to sectors where intra-community trade exists. (par. 63 of the letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 24.03.2010 C(2010) 1725 final.
The Commission concludes thatth aid is compatible with the internal market according to the Article 107 (3)(b) TFEU. (par. 310 of the letter)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.
Any Evidence-Based Deliberation:
|Is there anything in the public record to suggest that evidence of the effectiveness of the proposed measure was considered during official deliberations?|
|Is there any evidence that alternatives to the proposed measure were considered?|
|Is there anything in the public record that suggests that empirical evidence informed the comparison across the alternatives available to government?|
|Was such evidence identified?|
|Is such evidence publicly available?|
|Did the official decision-maker in question provide an explanation as to why a chosen measure was favoured over alternatives?|
|Is there any evidence to suggest that potentially affected trading partners were consulted before the measures were taken?|
|Is there any evidence that safeguards have been put in place to ensure that implementation of the initiative is transparent and non-discriminatory?|
|Did the government state its intention to review the measure within one year of implementation?|
Date of inception: 31 Dec 2009
Duration: 84 months
GTA Evaluation: Red
The letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 24.03.2010 C(2010) 1725 final (french). Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=... >