ANNOUNCEMENT 18 Jul 2008In July 2008, the government of Spain announced a change in production support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the official letter from the European Commission to Spain - Bruselas, 19.1.2009, C(2009) 392. Avaliable from < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/226707/226707_912060_35_1.pdf >
On 18 July 2008, Spain notified the Commission of an aid schemefor the financing of different environmental projects in the region of Andalusia.
The aim of the present scheme, which is to be introduced by the "Proyecto de Decreto, por el que se establece el marco regolador de las ayudas a favor del medio ambiente y del desarrollo energetico sostenible de Andalucia que se concedan por la Junta de Andalucia" is to finance projects aimed at: i) increasing the level of environment protection beyond the Community standards or in the absence of Community standards; ii) acquisition of new vehicles which go beyond the Community environmental standards; iii) completion of environmental studies; iv) energy saving; v) adoption of renewables; vi) cogeneration; vii) district heating with low energy consumption; viii) waste management; ix) remediation of polluted sites. The present measure provides exclusively for investment aid, which will be granted trough grants and interest rate reduction.
The overall budget of this scheme is EUR770 million, to be spent between 2009 and 2015.
The Commission gave the following estimation of the measure:
·"The beneficiaries of the present aid scheme will receive a contribution to partially compensate the extra costs incurred to carry out the abovementioned type of projects in their business organization. The abovementioned measures therefore confer an advantage on them.
·The beneficiaries constitute a selective group of undertakings in the sense of Article 87(1) EC as the measure solely favors certain undertakings.
·At least some of the measure's beneficiaries are engaged in sectors where trade between Member States takes place and, therefore, the measure is likely to affect trade and distort competition." (par. 7-9 of the EC's letter to Spain - Bruselas, 19.1.2009, C(2009) 392).
The Commission took the view that all envisaged measures exceptaid for remediation of polluted sites constitute State aid in the meaning of Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty.
The Commission, however,assessed the compliance of the scheme contained in the present Resolution with Article 87(3) (c) EC, in particular on the basis of the Environmental Aid Guidelines (EAG), which apply as of 2 April 2008. The European Commission concluded not to raise objections to the notified scheme "State aids for environment and sustainable energy development. (Spain)" as it complies with the environmental aid guidelines and is therefore considered compatible with the common market in application of Article 87(3) (c) EC.
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.