Brussels, 19 th November 2009
State aid: Commission authorises aid for revitalisation of degraded areas in Poland for the period 2007-2013
The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty State aid rules, around € 500 million of public funding that the Polish authorities intend to grant for the revitalisation of economically deprived areas of Poland in the period 2007-2013. The aim of the measure is to reduce the disadvantages faced by less developed areas by supporting the modernisation of housing, national heritage and cultural institutions in the framework of revitalisation programmes. The Commission has concluded that the planned measures will not affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest and that the impact on trade between Member States will be very limited.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The Polish scheme will improve the living conditions in less favoured areas. This will have a positive impact on the integration of these areas and reinforce economic and social cohesion without unduly distorting competition."
The plan notified by Poland provides for direct grants to support housing activities and cultural institutions with a view to improve the economic and social situation of poorer areas. In particular, aid for the modernisation of multifamily accommodation and aid for culture and cultural heritage is expected to create more attractive investment conditions for private investors.
T he Commission's investigation found that the revitalisation measures are well targeted at deprived areas and contribute to the EU objective of economic and social cohesion. In this respect, they are therefore in line with the Commission Communication of 5 July 2005 on cohesion policy (see IP/05/850 ).
T he Commission concluded that the planned measures were necessary and proportionate to achieve the common interest goal of revitalising deprived areas without causing a distortion of competition contrary to the common interest. In particular, the Commission found that the effects on trade would be very limited, for the following reasons:
-the assessed measures would not support investment in new production capacity and their essential goal is to achieve a cohesion objective
-the aid will be geographically limited to deprived areas in Poland characterised by poor living conditions
-most beneficiaries will carry out mainly local activity in the deprived areas
-t he measures in question are limited in time
-the Polish authorities have committed to implement and monitor the scheme in a transparent way.
The non-confidential version of the Decision will be made avai lable under reference N 470/2008 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet or in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News .