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PR(94)21: Change in areas eligible for regional investment aid in Finland authorised

15.10.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority today authorised an amendment to an existing regional investment aid scheme in the areas of the subregional units of Jyviisk‑yla, Kuopio, Oulu and Vaasa in Finland. Having found that the amendment notified by the Finnish Government to the Authority on the scheme is in line with the EEA provisions on State aid, the Authority has decided to authorise them under Article 61 of the EEA Agreement.

The amendment to the existing scheme restricts the scope for granting of regional investment aid in the areas of the subregional units of Jyvaskyla, Kuopio, Oulu and Vaasa to small and medium‑sized enterprises only. The definition of SMEs and the proposed aid intensity of 15 % for small enterprises and that of 7,5 % for medium­-sized enterprises are in line with its State Aid Guidelines.

As the Surveillance Authority has not yet taken a decision on the Finnish map of assisted areas and the aid intensities thereof, the assessment of the regional investment aid covers only the proposed granting of regional investment aid to SMEs in areas mentioned above. The other parts of the regional investment aid remain subject to constant review. The decision is, therefore, taken without prejudging the future position of the Authority on other aspects of either the state aid in question or the system of regional aid in Finland.

The areas concerned are, therefore, no longer eligible for national investment aid on regional grounds. The change will give a population coverage of assisted areas in Finland of 41,6 % against the present 5 1 %, which corresponds to the outcome of the discussions on national regional aid that Finland reached with the European Commission in the context of EU accession.

For further information please contact Maria Blässar (State Aid and Monopolies Directorate) on tel. 22 66 853.




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