France’s nearly one billion euro state aid program approved by EU Commission

EU Approves 900M Euro State Aid Program for Renewable Energy and Attracting Green Investments: Discussions on Future of Internal Market and Need for New Investment Tools Highlight Competitive Landscape

The European Commission has approved a 900 million euro French state aid program to support companies investing in biomass and renewable hydrogen for energy and fuel production. This program falls under the crisis and transition period state support framework, which has temporarily relaxed the EU’s state aid rules. The crisis flexibilities are valid until the end of June, while the transitional period flexibilities are valid until the end of 2025.

Former Prime Minister of Italy Enrico Letta is reporting to the European Council on the future of the internal market, which will be discussed by EU leaders in an extraordinary summit in April. Meanwhile, Finland’s Confederation of Business and Industry (EK) has called for new tools to compete for green and digital investments. EK hopes that Finland will form a position on how the EU can attract strategic investments in the future.

The Finnish government has taken a stance that the EU’s crisis aid should be temporary. The European Commission has suggested that a joint financial instrument of the EU could be a solution to state aid competition. Flexibilities in state aid rules have been extended after 2022 to support the green transition, with subsidies available for low-carbon initiatives and renewable energy. Options for new tools to attract investments include forming a financial instrument within the EU to improve Europe’s investment competitiveness. CEO of EK Jyri Häkämies has suggested a European fund as a better option than a tough competition for state aid.

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