Poland: Investment aid for hard coal mining sector
On 24 November 2009 the Polish authorities notified the Commission of a measure entitled "Investment aid for hard coal mining sector". The main objective of the measure is to maintain a minimum quantity of indigenous coal production by guaranteeing access to reserves. In order to achieve this objective Poland plans to support investments by grants.
The planned budget for the aid scheme stands at PLN 400m (EUR +/- 100m). The amount of aid cannot exceed 30% of the total cost of initial investments taking into account all other State aid awarded in relation to the same initial investment costs. The aid cannot be paid after 31 December 2010.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid within the meaning of Article 107 (1) TFEU and gave the following assessment:
“The aid reduces the costs that coal undertakings should normally bear and therefore favours them. Being granted out of the public budget the present grant constitutes State resources. Such resources being granted to particular undertakings selected through a call for proposals, the subsidy favours certain undertakings. By favouring certain undertakings competing on the EU wide open market the subsidy may distort competition and hamper trade.” (par. 21 of the letter from the EC to Poland - Brussels, 06/05/2010 C (2010) 3063)
The Commission considers that the notified aid measure fulfils the Coal Regulation since its conditions are respected. The Commission has accordingly decided to consider the aid measure compatible with Article 107 (3) (e) the TFEU.
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: 24 Nov 2009
Duration: 13 months
GTA Evaluation: Red
the letter from the EC to Poland - Brussels, 06/05/2010 C (2010) 3063. Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=... >