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EU Commission approves 3 bln euros Polish state aid measure to support energy companies

The European Commission has approved a 3-billion-euro Polish scheme to support companies active in the Polish gas market “in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine”, the Commission announced. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022 and amended on 20 July and 28 October 2022.

“With this 3-billion-euro scheme, Poland will ensure that sufficient liquidity remains available to companies active in the Polish gas market, which need support in this difficult context,” Executive Vice-President of the Commission, in charge of EU competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.

Poland notified the Commission, under the Temporary Crisis Framework, regarding a 3-billion-euro support scheme for companies active in the Polish gas market, in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The measure will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies active on the Polish gas market, specifically, sellers of last resort and entities legally obliged to sell natural gas on the gas exchange market. Credit institutions or other financial institutions are excluded from the scheme. The aid will take the form of subsidised loans, provided and administered by the Polish national promotional bank, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.

The Commission concluded that the Polish scheme is “necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State”, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.

The State aid Temporary Crisis Framework enables “Member States to use the flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the EU economy in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine”. The framework has been amended following the introduction of subsequent energy-related support measures such as REPowerEU.

Among the permitted aid that Member States can grant under the Temporary Crisis Framework includes “aid to compensate for high energy prices”; “measures accelerating the rollout of renewable energy”; “measures facilitating the decarbonisation of industrial processes”; and “measures aimed at supporting electricity demand reduction”.

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