ANNOUNCEMENT 26 Jul 2016
On 10 January 2017, the European Commission decided not to raise objections against a planned credit of 3.3 billion EUR to rescue the Areva Group notified by the French government in July 2016.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
European Commission case summary (SA.46077)
European Commission letter to France, 27.02.2017
According to France, the "Areva Group is a French energy group that provides products and services throughout the nuclear cycle, from the uranium mine to the recycling of spent fuel, to the design of nuclear reactors and services for their operation. [...] Areva Group will face financial maturities that it will not be able to meet without state liquidity support. [Therefore,] the French State plans to grant the Areva Group a credit of EUR 3.3 billion in the form of two advances in shareholder current account." (translation of para. 5, 13 and 14 letter from the EC to France, Brussels 27.02.2017)
Based on the findings of the European Commission, "The different markets in the nuclear cycle in which the Areva Group is active are open to competition in Europe and are characterized by significant trade between States. By granting Areva Group access to liquidity with conditions which the Group could not otherwise obtain, the French State's loan is likely to strengthen the competitive position of the beneficiary in relation to that of its competitors in the internal market. Thus, the granting of the loan distorts or threatens to distort competition and affects trade between Member States." (translation of para. 25 letter from the EC to the France, Brussels 27.02.2017)
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.