ANNOUNCEMENT 31 Dec 2009In December 2009, the government of France announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
The letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 24.03.2010 C(2010) 1725 final (french). Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N493_2009 >
On 18 August2009, France notified the European Commission their intention to support trough the environment and energy ageny ADEME a project entitled "GAYA", led by the energy group GDF Suez. The project consists in the development of a new renewable energyproduction system based on biomethane. The program is estmated to cost46.5 million euros and will last 7 years.
The aforementioned measure consists in financial support trough direct subsidies. The aid will amount 42.5 million euros, shared among GDF Suez ( 36'741'452) and 9 other participants. (SME's, research labs and energy agencies). The program is estimated to be ended by 31 December 2016.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid within themeaning of Article 107(1) TFEU and gave the followingassessment:
State resources are involved in the notified scheme since the aid is granted from national state resources through the ADEME. The measure is selective since it grants financial support to GDF Suez, to which it provides an advantage by contributing to R&D expenses.
'...' The measure is likely to affect trade between Member States since the scheme applies to sectors where intra-community trade exists. (par. 63 of the letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 24.03.2010 C(2010) 1725 final.
The Commission concludes thatth aid is compatible with theinternal marketaccording to the Article 107 (3)(b) TFEU. (par. 310 of the letter)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of theextent to which its implementation affects the extent of discriminationagainst foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aidproposed here is discriminatory.