ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
On 14 July 2008, the belgian authorities contacted the European Comission regarding their intention to implement an aid regime in favour of inland water and rail freight transportation for the period 2008-2013.
The total budget allowed to the aid regime amounts 21 million euros for the whole period (i.e. 3.5 million euros per year). The aid will benefit to companies that realize investments favourizing alternatives to road transportation and pursue goals related to environmental protection.
The measures consist in various forms of direct payments regarding infrastructure expansion, operational costs or land aquisition. The aid cannot exceed 30% of the total investment for SME's and 20% for larger companies. (par. 11-27 of the letter from the European Commission to Belgium- Brussels, 26.11.2008 C (2008) 7035 final).
The European Commission assesses that subsidies provided by the Walloon region, strengthening the position of beneficiary companies against competitors, affects intra-Community trade. The commission concludes that these measures consist in State aid in the sense of Art. 87 par.1 CE. (par. 33-34 of the letter from the European Commission to Belgium- Brussels, 26.11.2008 C (2008) 7035 final).
The Commission concludes that there is no undue trade distorsion and considers the aid measures in favour of inland water and rail freight transportation compatible with the common market for the period 2008-2013. (par. 73-74 of the letter from the European Commission to Belgium- Brussels, 26.11.2008 C (2008) 7035 final).
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.
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