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PR(03)38: The EFTA Surveillance Authority considers support for day-care facilities in the City of Oslo not to be state aid

18.12.2003

In a decision taken today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority has concluded that the measure regarding subsidised real estate leasehold fees for day-care providers in the City of Oslo, as notified by the Norwegian Government, does not constitute state aid within the meaning of Article 61 (1) of the EEA Agreement.

The Municipality of Oslo has been practising subsidised real estate leasehold contracts since 1962, to encourage private undertakings to establish and manage day-care facilities to meet local demands and to fulfil the Municipality’s obligations to provide day-care facilities for children between 1 and 6 years old. The present notification concerns the formalisation and extension of this practice with a view to solving the shortage of day care places. The support is granted by way of day-care operators paying a subsidised lease fee, NOK 5000 per site per year, on real estate leased from the Municipality of Oslo.

The Authority came to the conclusion that the support measure does not have any effect on trade between the Contracting Parties. The information provided by the Norwegian authorities demonstrates that private day-care facilities are purely for local use and will only serve the market of Oslo and its near surroundings, which has an under capacity of places. At present, there are no indications that private day care services are operated by enterprises outside Norway. These are provided only by local operators who often offer their services on a non-profit basis.  

For further information, please contact Mr. Amund Utne, Director, tel.  (32)(0)2 286 18 50 or Ms. Annette Kliemann, Officer, tel. (32)(0)2 286 18 52.

18 December 2003




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