State aid: Commission approves Slovak support to HBP to alleviate social and environmental impact of mines closure

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Slovak plans to provide €92 million of public support to coal mining company Hornonitrianske bane Prievidza (HBP) to alleviate the social and environmental impact of closing its mining units in Handlová and Nováky by 2023. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular Council Decision 2010/787/EU, which allows Member States to support the closure of uncompetitive coal mines in order to alleviate the social and environmental impact resulting from the closure. The Commission found that, in line with the Council Decision, the aid will ease the closure process by providing financial support to workers who would lose their jobs due to the closure of the mines. In particular, the state support will fund redundancy payments required under national labour and social security law. Furthermore, it will be used to to secure mine shafts and re-cultivate land after the mine closures. On this basis, the Commission found that the Slovak measure is in line with EU State aid rules.More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.55038.