State aid: Commission approves aid to compensate damages caused in Poland by floods


Brussels, 9 August 2010

The European Commission has approved an aid scheme that allows to grant compensation for the damage caused by the floods of May and June 2010 in Poland. The Commission found that the measure was in line with Article 107 (2) (b) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, that allows aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters. In particular, aid is available only to cover the material damages effectively caused.

In May and June 2010 Poland was hit by heavy rain, which caused floods and landslides in 14 out of 16 regions. As a result, many individuals and enterprises have suffered - often substantial - damages to their holdings.

Therefore, the Polish authorities have put in place an aid scheme to compensate for these damages. Aid under the scheme will be open to all enterprises. However, today's decision does not cover aid to enterprises active in agricultural production and the part of the forestry sector covered by the EU Guidelines on state aid in the Agriculture and Forestry Sector 2007 to 2013 (see IP/06/1697). The part of the Polish scheme concerning those companies is being examined by the Commission under the special rules governing the agricultural and forestry sectors and will be the object of a separate decision.

The Commission found that in view of their extent the floods and landslides which affected Poland in the course of May and June 2010 should indeed be classified as a natural disaster. Furthermore, the aid scheme designed by the Polish authorities serves only to compensate for the material damages effectively caused by the natural catastrophe. The Commission therefore concluded that the measure is in line with EU state aid rules.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number N 235a/2010 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.