Brussels, 23 rd September 2009
State aid: Commission statement on aid for Opel Europe
The European Commission has repeatedly underlined that the restructuring plan of new Opel Europe must guarantee that the company will be viable in the future. Any financial support by public authorities must fully comply with the EU's state aid and internal market rules.
The European Commission has already stated that it will carefully examine whether the German authorities have attached – de jure or de facto - additional non-commercial conditions to their aid for New Opel concerning the location of investments and/or the geographic distribution of restructuring measures. The Commission will also examine indications that negotiations are taking place with a number of European governments concerning financial support linked to the number of workers finally retained by New Opel in each Member State, and is in touch with the relevant national authorities.
The European Commission will not accept that State aid granted under the Temporary Framework is conditional upon the implementation of a specific business plan, previously discussed and/or negotiated with Member States, which defines the geographic distribution of restructuring measures, without leaving to the beneficiary undertakings the possibility to revise their plans if necessary.
State funding under the Temporary Framework is meant to tackle the financing problems due to the credit crunch, and cannot be used to impose political constraints concerning the location of production activities within the internal market. The beneficiary undertakings must therefore retain full freedom to develop their economic activities in the internal market .