ANNOUNCEMENT 29 Oct 2009In October 2009, the government of Poland announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to Poland - Brussels, 15.03.2010 C (2010) D/ 1718. Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N594_2009 >
On 29 October 2009, the Republic of Poland notified the abovementioned measure. The aid will be granted for construction of approximately 953 km of gas pipelines to Operator Gazociagów Przesylowych Gaz-System S.A. (Gas Transmission System Operator Gaz-System S.A., hereinafter Gaz-System) for implementation of 7 investment projects involving pipelines with equipment for the transmission of natural gas.
The overall maximum budget for this measure amounts to 1207.71 million Polish Zloty (about 300 million Euro). The aid is financed from Structural Funds of the EU within the EIOP. Poland notified the aid scheme until 31 December 2013.
The commission found that the measure constitutes State aid within the meaning of Article 107 (1) TFEU and gave the following assessment:
'As the Polish gas market is currently suffering of lack of competition what is partially due to the lack of gas transmission networks allowing flow of gas from west to east and from the new LNG terminal, it is likely that the new investments will attract new suppliers of gas from other EU and non-EU States to use these networks to enter the gas market and operate in Poland. Therefore constructing of the new networks will give some suppliers of gas indirect benefits of increased sales to the new customers. Therefore the aid is likely to affect competition on the downstream markets of gas in Poland to the benefit of the new entries to the market. This is also the declared aim of the measure as explained by Poland. As gas is traded between Member States in the EU and the new pipelines are likely to attract gas flows from the west to the east and from the new LNG terminal, it is likely that the trade between Member States will be affected.' (par. 38-39 of the letter from the EC to Poland - Brussels, 15.03.2010 C (2010) D/ 1718)
The Commission has accordingly decided not to raise objections to the notified measure, because the aid can be found compatible with the common market in accordance with Article 107 (3) (c) of the TFEU no longer applies and Article 61 (3) (c) of the EEA Agreement, since it pursues an objective of common interest in a necessary and proportionate way. (par. 76 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.