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State Aid

PR(09)99: State aid scoreboard for 2008


The EFTA Surveillance Authority today published its scoreboard on state aid granted in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway from 2004 to the end of 2008. The scoreboard was prepared in co-operation with the European Commission and includes comparisons between aid amounts granted in the EFTA States and in the European Union.

Overall, the amount of state aid granted in the EFTA States has increased over the period reviewed, caused mainly by increases in the amount of aid granted by Norway. In Norway, the increase was largely due to increased aid awarded under tax relief schemes to the maritime sector, and as compensation to industry for reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions. Liechtenstein also slightly increased the amount of aid granted in 2008.

The financial crisis has had a significant effect on the statistics for 2008 which underpin the scoreboard. The unprecedented amounts of aid granted in an attempt to alleviate the financial crisis across the EU impact upon comparisons between aid totals for the EFTA and EU states, not least because no financial crisis aid is included in the figures for the EFTA States for 2008 [1]. In consequence certain data has been presented both including financial crisis aid and excluding it – the latter being a more accurate representation of the long term position.

In terms of how EFTA States stand in relation to EU Member States, if the financial crisis aid is excluded from the figures Norway granted more aid in proportional terms than the EU-27 average in 2008, whereas both Iceland and Liecthenstein granted less. However, if crisis aid is included, the level of aid granted in Norway is only a quarter of that of the EU-average.


The scoreboard also reveals that in 2008 Iceland reduced the proportion of aid it granted (relative to total aid) for research and development and innovation (R&D&I), whereas in Norway this remained stable. Nevertheless, in 2008 both Iceland and Norway granted a higher proportion of aid for R&D&I (relative to total aid) than the EU-27 average -  regardless of whether financial crisis aid is included. Liechtenstein has not granted any state aid to R&D&I.

The figures for environmental protection aid, show that Norway granted more aid both as a proportion of total aid granted and as a proportion of GDP than the EU-27 average for 2008.  

The scoreboard is also published on the Authority's website.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Lena Sandberg-Mørch
Senior Officer
Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 69


Mr. Per Andreas Bjørgan
Director, Competition and State Aid  Directorate
Tel (+32)(0)2 286 18 36


Brussels, 18 December 2009

[1] While the EFTA States were of course affected by the crisis, statistics for aid granted by EFTA States do not include amounts related to the financial crisis either because such aid was granted 2008 (which is the case in, Norway and Liechtenstein) or the assessment of the cases have not yet been concluded (in the case of Iceland).


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