Brussels, 20 February 2014
State aid: Commission approves 2014-2020 regional aid map for Poland
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules Poland's map for granting regional development aid between 2014 and 2020. The decision is based on the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013 (see IP/13/569), which set out the conditions under which Member States can grant state aid to businesses for regional development purposes. They aim to foster growth and promote greater cohesion in the Single Market.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: “The new regional aid map establishes a framework for public support to promote productive investment in Poland over the next seven years. It will contribute to regional development while also ensuring that taxpayers' money goes where it is most needed''.
A regional aid map defines the regions of a Member State eligible for national regional investment aid under EU state aid rules and establishes the maximum aid levels for companies in the eligible regions. The adoption of this regional aid map ensures the continuity of Poland's regional policy. It will be in force between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2020.
Under the new map, areas which have a GDP per capita below 75% of the EU average - covering 86.3% of the population of Poland - will continue to be eligible for regional investment aid at maximum aid intensities varying between 25% and 50% of the eligible costs of the relevant investment projects.
Additionally, the region of Mazowieckie (around Warsaw) – representing 13.7% of the Polish population – will be eligible for aid at maximum intensities varying between 10% and 35%, as its GDP per capita is no longer below 75% of the EU average. This is because regional aid is meant to benefit the most disadvantaged regions of Europe.
The maximum aid intensities apply to investment by large enterprises. They can be increased by 10 percentage points for investments by medium-sized enterprises and by 20 percentage points for small companies.
The June 2013 regional aid guidelines set out the criteria under which Member States can grant state aid to companies to support investments in new production facilities in the less advantaged regions of Europe, or to extend or modernise existing facilities. The ultimate purpose of regional state aid is to support economic development and employment. The regional aid guidelines contain rules on the basis of which Member States can draw up regional aid maps valid throughout the period of validity of the guidelines. The maps identify in which geographical areas companies can receive regional state aid and at what proportion of the eligible investment costs (aid intensity). Eligible costs are the part of the total investment costs that may be taken into account for the calculation of the aid.
Article 107(3)(a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) allows Member States to grant state aid to promote the economic development of areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is serious underemployment. The regional aid guidelines define this type of regions as having a GDP below 75% of the EU average.
Article 107(3)(c) TFEU allows aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or areas, where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions. The Regional Guidelines define this type of region as an area of a Member State which is disadvantaged in relation to the national average or – which is the case in Poland – as an area that used to be eligible for aid under Article 107(3)(a) TFEU in the period 2011-2013. As these regions are less disadvantaged than areas covered by Article 107(3)(a), the geographical scope and the aid intensity are limited.
The non-confidential version of today's decision will be made available under the case number SA.37485 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 and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.