ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
The aim of the notified scheme is to grant temporary aid to undertakings that have been affected by a sudden shortage or unavailability of credit as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. It will help to maintain current employment and possibly will help to stimulate the creation of new jobs. The scheme provides for the provision of limited amounts of compatible aid to undertakings until the end of 2010.
The aid will be provided in the form of transparent forms of aidin particular, in the form of direct grants, interest rate subsidies, subsidized public loans.
The total estimate budget of this national framework state aid scheme is lei 950 million (equivalent of EUR 220 million, estimated for an exchange rate of 4.5lei/EUR) for 2009 and 2010.
The scheme applies to SMEs and large undertakings including cooperatives. The Romanian authorities estimate the number of beneficiaries will exceed 1000 firms.
The Commission concluded that the measure contains state aid and gave the following assessment:
"State resources are involved in the notified scheme since the aid is granted from national and regional resources, via the respective aid granting authorities at national and regional level. The measure is selective since aid is awarded only to certain undertakings. The measure conveys an advantage by making available limited amounts of compatible aid which would not be available to the beneficiaries without the measure. The measure affects trade between Member States since the scheme is not limited to beneficiaries which are active in sectors where no intra-community trade exists. The measure distorts or threatens to distort competition." (par. 21-25 of the letter from the European Commission to Romania - Brussels, 03.12.2009 C(2009)9859)
Article 107(3)(b) TFEU enables the Commission to declare aid compatible with the Common Market if it is "to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State." This aid has to be applied restrictively and must tackle a disturbance in the entire economy of the Member State according to the interpretation of the Article 107 (3)(b) by the Court of First Instance.
The Commission referred to its Communication on the financial crisis (Temporary Framework) and concluded that the Measure complies with the conditions laid therein. Therefore, despite the measure constituting State aid pursuant to the Article 107 (1) TFEU, it is compatible with the internal market according to the Article 107 (3)(b) TFEU. The Commission raises no objections against the measure at issue and authorizes it as emergency intervention in the face of the current financial crisis. (par. 27-34 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.
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