ANNOUNCEMENT 01 Jan 2009In January 2009, the government of Germany announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the official letter from the European Commission to Germany - Brussels, 17.02.2009 K(2009)1156. Avaliable from < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N444_2008 >
On 4 September 2008 the German authorities notified the above mentioned measure, pursuant to Article 88(3) EC. The scheme concerns aid to R&D and technology- and knowledge-transfer as regards Organic Farming (Ökologischer Landbau) in Germany. It applies to all projects which involve products not falling under Annex I of the EC Treaty and includes, as an example, measures on the development of pesticides for organic farming, agricultural machinery or processing technology for organic farming. Projects involving products which fall under Annex I of the EC Treaty are the subject of a separate decision (case N400/2008).
The total budget for the period 2009-2013 will be EUR 40 million. The yearly budget will be EUR 8 million. The aid is funded through the Federal Budget. The scheme uses direct grants.
Beneficiaries of the scheme will be enterprises with a seat (Geschäftsbetrieb) in Germany with relevant experience and suitable infrastructure to undertake the measures. The German authorities estimate that there will be more than 1000 beneficiaries. Research projects that belong to the following categories fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development can be supported under the scheme.
The Commission made the following assessment:
" The measure under assessment involves State resources, as it will be financed through the budget of the State. The measure is selective, as it will benefit a limited number of firms, which will receive an advantage through this support. Finally, since these firms are or can be active in intra-Community trade, the measure will also have an effect on trade. Thus, the scheme meets the conditions of Article 87 (1) EC insofar as grants are awarded to enterprises." (par. 33 of the letter from the European Commission to Germany - Brussels, 17.02.2009 K(2009)1156).
The Commission has assessed the compatibility of the aid measures described above on the basis of the R&D&I Framework and concluded that the notified scheme meets all the conditions for compatibility included in the R&D&I Framework. Therefore, the Commission stated that the aid measure is compatible with the EC Treaty in application of its Article 87 (3) (c).
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.