On 6 December 2016, the European Commission decided not to raise objections against a project to improve the infrastructure of the Brest Seaport notified by the French government in June 2016. 113 million EUR of the total project budget of 166.8 million EUR is financed by the French local and national authorities.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 19 Jan 2017 | Removal date: open ended

Financial grant

According to France, "The notified project concerns the improvement of the commercial port of Brest by deepening the maritime access channel and the creation of a new port terminal adapted to handling large heavy general cargo. [...] The total cost of the notified project is approximately EUR 166.8 million. [...] The project will be partly financed by grants from the Brittany Region (EUR 70 million), Brest Métropole (EUR 13,5 million), the Conseil Départemental du Finistère (EUR 14,5 million) and the European Development Fund (EUR 15 million) for a total of EUR 113 million." The duration of the project was not published in the EC letter to France. (para. 2, 8 and 9 letter from the EC to France, Brussels 19.01.2017)

Based on the findings of the European Commission, "The project will make the Port of Brest accessible to larger container ships and allow to attract business in the heavy general cargo sector. By making it possible to accommodate a larger volume of container traffic, food bulk and renewable energy activities [...], the aid will - at least potentially - be able to distort competition between the various ports which currently provide or are likely to provide port services in the catchment area of the Port of Brest which extends beyond the territory of France.." (para. 33 and 49 letter from the EC to the France, Brussels 19.01.2017)

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.