Russia’s senseless war against Ukraine continues, with its heavy toll on lives and livelihoods. As a result we are also facing a severe energy crisis that is affecting households and businesses all over Europe. There is an urgent need to support the most vulnerable parts of our society, to ensure that critical industries can continue operation, while jointly reducing our energy demand and dependency on fossil fuels.
To this common challenge, we need a common and coordinated response that does not compromise on Europe’s fundamental strength – our Single Market. Effective State aid control is key in preserving the well-functioning of the Single Market and avoiding harmful subsidy races.
That is why already in March this year, the Commission put in place a State aid Temporary Crisis Framework. It sets clear and horizontal criteria, applicable to all Member States, enabling them to provide necessary and proportionate support to their economies in this crisis.
And as this crisis develops and continues to persist, we are ensuring that the Temporary Crisis Framework remains fit for purpose. In July, we first amended the Framework also to include additional possibilities for Member States to help accelerate the rollout of renewable energy as well as the decarbonisation of industries.
We are consulting Member States on a proposal to prolong and amend the Temporary Crisis Framework to address developing needs of Member States and industry. To name a few examples, the proposal aims to further enable Member States to provide necessary liquidity support to energy utility companies in view of market volatility. It clarifies conditions for public recapitalisations with clear strings attached. And it aims to facilitate well-targeted support to businesses affected by high energy prices, including energy-intensive users, while maintaining incentives for reducing energy demand. At the same time, the proposal maintains and strengthens important safeguards to preserve a level playing field and to achieve our green objectives.
The proposal already takes into account input received from Member States in response to a survey launched mid-September. I look forward to continue our close cooperation with Member States in this process.
At the same time, we will remain vigilant that all national support measures are put in place in full compliance with EU rules. We will remain equally vigilant on their implementation and impact on the level playing field.