ANNOUNCEMENT 20 Jan 2010In January 2010, the government of Sweden announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to Sweden - Brussels, 12.01.2011 C(2010)9516 final) - http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/236346/236346_1226227_114_2.pdf
The beneficiary of the measure under assesment is Södra Cell AB ("Södra Cell"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Södra Skogsägarna Ekonomisk Förening ("Södra"). Södra is an economic association of 50,000 forest owners which aims to purchase and process forest raw materials from its members and turn it into pulp, wood and interior products. Södra Cell is one of the world's leading manufacturers of paper pulp for the open market. The company owns three pulp mills in Sweden.
The aid will be granted in the form of a nominal grant of SEK 90 million (i.e. EUR 9.8 million), paid in several instalments until 2012.
The Commission gave the following assessment:
"The notified measure concerns a direct grant provided by Sweden to Södra Cell. The resources involved are State resources, as they will be provided from the State budget by the Swedish Government. The measure is selective as it favours explicitly only one undertaking, Södra Cell, to which it confers an advantage by financing part of its R&D costs. Since Södra Cell is involved in trade with other Member States, a financial advantage favouring it, compared to its competitors distorts or threatens to distort competition and affects trade between the Member States."(par. 34 of the letter from the EC to Sweden - Brussels, 12.01.2011 C(2010)9516 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.