ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
According to the UK, "[...] the UK authorities wish to promote agricultural products for the benefit of farmers. [...] The aid is granted in kind by way of subsidised services [... ][The scheme will be in force] from the date of approval by the Commission to 31 March 2021. [...] The overall budget is GBP 180 million (approximately EUR 245 million) and the annual budget is GBP 30 million (approximately EUR 41 million)." (para. 3, 113, 5 and 6 letter from the EC to the UK, Brussels 25.06.2015)
Based on the findings of the European Commission, "It is clear that the scheme in question confers an advantage on its recipients. This advantage is granted through State resources and it favours the producers of the agricultural products covered by the scheme. According to the case law of the Court of Justice, the mere fact that the competitive position of an undertaking is strengthened compared to other competing undertakings, by giving it an economic benefit which it would not otherwise have received in the normal course of its business, points to a possible distortion of competition. [...] The sectors concerned are open to competition at EU level and therefore sensitive to any measure in favour of production in one or more Member States. Therefore, the present scheme is liable to distort competition and to affect trade between Member States." (para. 103 and 105 letter from the EC to the UK, Brussels 25.06.2015)
In the GTA database the determination of whether a policy instrument discriminates against foreign commercial interests turns on whether it creates or alters the relative treatment of domestic firms versus foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory because the state aid is not available to competing firms outside of the implementing jurisdiction.
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