Brussels, 22 January 2014
State aid: Commission approves regional aid map 2014-2020 for Slovakia
The European Commission has approved Slovakia's map for granting state aid between 2014 and 2020 within the framework of the new regional aid guidelines adopted by the Commission in June 2013 (see IP/13/569). The new guidelines set out under which conditions 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 Joaquin Almunia said: “The regional aid map establishes a framework to promote productive investments that will contribute to regional development in Slovakia over the next seven years, 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 its regional aid map ensures the continuity of Slovakia's regional policy. It will be in force between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2020.
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.
In line with these principles, 88.48% of the population of the Slovak Republic living in the regions of Stredné Slovensko, Východné Slovensko and Západné Slovensko will continue to be eligible for regional investment aid at maximum aid intensities varying between 25% and 35% of the eligible costs of the relevant investment projects. As compared with the Slovak regional aid map currently in force, the aid intensities will be 15% lower in the new map, in line with the new regional aid guidelines.
The region of Bratislava, where 11.52% of the Slovak population lives, has a GDP per capita exceeding 100% of the EU average and will thus not be eligible for regional aid between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2020. This does not alter the current situation, since this region ceased to be eligible for aid under the current map in 2009 after a transitional period where aid was allowed with a 10% intensity.
The regional aid guidelines set out the rules 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.
Stredne Slovensko 35 %
The non-confidential version of today's decision will be made available under the case number SA.37447 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