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State Aid

State Aid Scoreboard: Increasing aid for regional development and environmental protection



As crisis aid fades out, aid for regional development and environmental protection increases. These are among the main findings in the Authority's State Aid Scoreboard for 2011 for the EEA EFTA States. The report was published today.

The scoreboard is a benchmarking tool for measuring state aid approved by the Authority to commercial undertakings.

All in all, State aid expenditure remains fairly constant, in current prices, at EUR 2.8 billion. However, the scoreboard shows that as aid for the financial crises expires, State aid expenditure for other objectives such as regional development and environmental protection has increased,” Ms Oda Helen Sletnes, President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, said.

Iceland considerably decreased its overall aid expenditure from EUR 312 million in 2010 to EUR 36 million in 2011, notably due to a decrease in financial crisis aid from EUR 289 million to EUR 4 million. At the same time, Iceland increased its aid expenditure for other objectives from EUR 23 million to EUR 32 million. In particular, Iceland almost tripled its spending on aid for regional development from EUR 4 million to almost EUR 12 million. Aid for research, development and innovation also increased, from EUR 10 million to more than EUR 12 million and remained the most important type of aid in Iceland.

Norway increased its overall state aid expenditure from EUR 2,596 million in 2010 to EUR 2,787 million in 2011. In particular, Norway increased its spending on environmental aid from EUR 611 million to EUR 1,019 million. The second most important type of aid awarded by Norway is support for regional development which increased from EUR 897 million to EUR 915 million. These increases notably outweighed a decrease in aid for research and development from EUR 530 million to EUR 381 million.

Liechtenstein continues to grant aid exclusively for culture and heritage objectives, which decreased in CHF values but due to changes in the exchange rate slightly increased in EUR values from EUR 1.34 million in 2010 to EUR 1.49 million in 2011.

A comparison with the EU-27 average including financial crisis aid shows that the average aid expenditure of the EFTA States in 2011 is relatively small, partly because Iceland, which is the only EFTA State that had granted crisis aid, significantly reduced these payments in 2011. However, if financial crisis aid is excluded, the comparison shows that Norway's aid expenditure (0.73% of GDP) is significantly above the EU-27 average (0.42% of GDP), while Iceland's expenditure (0.31% of GDP) is well below it. Liechtenstein's aid expenditure is the lowest of all States in the EEA (0.04% of GDP).

See the full State Aid Scoreboard here.


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg 
Press & Information Officer 
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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