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State Aid

State aid scoreboard: Increased use of state aid in the EEA EFTA States


The amount of state aid granted by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway increased substantially in 2009.

The Authority has published its state aid scoreboard for 2009. It shows that the total amount granted by the three States increased, in current prices, from EUR 2.2 billion in 2008 to EUR 2.8 billion in 2009.

Almost 99% of the overall state aid measured by the scoreboard is granted by Norway, and the total increase of aid in 2009 was mainly granted there. However, both Liechtenstein and Iceland also slightly increased the amount of aid granted and approved in 2009.

The scoreboard also includes aid granted and approved from 2004 to the end of 2009. It includes comparisons between aid amounts granted in the EFTA States and in the European Union. The scoreboard does not include state aid which is not yet approved by the Authority.

The financial crisis has had significant effects on the aid amounts granted in 2009. In particular Iceland have granted unprecedented amounts of aid in an attempt to alleviate the financial crisis. However, only a small amount of the total aid granted was approved in 2009. For instance aid to the three main Icelandic banks Islandsbanki, Arion and NBI was granted in 2008 and 2009, but only notified in 2010. This aid has not yet been approved by the Authority and is therefore not reflected in this scoreboard.

If the financial crisis aid is excluded from the figures Norway granted more aid in proportional terms than the EU-27 average in 2009, whereas both Iceland and Liecthenstein granted less. However, if crisis aid is included, the level of aid granted in Norway is less than a third of that of the EU-average.

The scoreboard also reveals that in 2009 Iceland increased the proportion of aid it granted (relative to GDP) for research, development and innovation (R&D&I). Also Norway slightly increased aid granted in this area.  Both Iceland and Norway granted a higher proportion of such 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 2009.  

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


For further information, please contact:

Lena Sandberg-Morch
Officer, Competition and Stat Aid department
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 69

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