ANNOUNCEMENT 16 Apr 2009In April 2009, the government of Slovenia announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to Slovenia - Brussels, 09.06.2009 C(2009)4590. Available from < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N228_2009 >
On 16 April 2009, the Slovenian authorities notified a scheme which temporarily allows the granting of limited amounts of aid to enterprises affected by the current financial and economic crisis.
The aid will be provided in the form of direct grant. EUR 120 million are foreseen by the Slovenian authorities for the implementation of this measure over 2009 and 2010.
The scheme applies to companies that can prove that they are facing difficulties in their operation as a result of the general financial crisis. The measure does not contain any geographical limitations. The Slovenian authorities estimate the number of beneficiaries in the range of 501 to 1000 companies.
The Commission founds that the notified measure constitutes state aid within the meaning of Article 87 (1) of the EC Treaty and gave the following assessment:
" State resources are involved in the notified scheme since the aid is granted from central budget sources and Community sources which come under the administration of the Slovene authorities. The measure is selective since it will be granted only to certain firms which perform certain types of projects or which are in specific needs. The measure conveys an advantage to undertakings by making available limited amounts of aid which would not be available to the beneficiaries without the measure in normal market conditions. 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. 28-32 of the letter from the EC to Slovenia - Brussels, 09.06.2009 C(2009)4590).
Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty 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 87(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 87(1) EC, it is compatible with the Common Market according to the Article 87(3)(b) EC Treaty. 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. 34-39 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.