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State Aid

State aid: Grants to Bergen Kirkelige Fellesråd are not in breach of EEA law

11.4.2013

PR(13)28

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided that grants from the Municipality of Bergen to the Bergen Church Council – Bergen Kirkelige Fellesråd (BKF) – are not in breach of EEA state aid rules.

BKF represents the church parishes of the municipality of Bergen in Norway and is responsible for, inter alia, the ownership, construction, operation and maintenance of churches and cemeteries in the municipality. Since 1 January 2013, these tasks have been carried out by BKF's new department, Akasia. BKF is mainly financed by grants from the Municipality of Bergen. However, BKF also generates income through the offering of services on the market, such as tree care, landscaping and accounting.

The Authoritiy has received complaints alleging that the services offered by BKF and Akasia on the market are cross-subsidised with the public funds stemming from the Municipality of Bergen.

The Authority consideres the services offered on the market to constitute economic activities, covered by the EEA Agreement. This calls for a separation of the accounts of the public services and those of the economic activities.

After having examined the accounting principles of BKF/Akasia, the Authority has concluded that a proper account separation has been implemented, and that no cross-subsidisation is taking place between BKF's public assignment and the commercial services.

A non-confidential version of the Decision will be published in the registerof state aid decisions on the Authority's website, normally within a month from the date of the Decision

 

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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