European Parliament Asks to Extend State Aid for Loss-making Coal Mines Until 2018

Members of the European Parliament considered the 2014 cut-off date for state aid for the operation of loss-making coal mines proposed recently by the Commission arbitrary and feared mass redundancies. They therefore requested an extension of the EU’s state aid cut-off date until 31 December 2018.

Apart from extending the deadline, MEPs asked to increase the overall amount of closure aid that can be granted by a Member State. However, they stressed that it must follow a downward trend. Besides, they proposed that state aid can cover the costs of research and technology investment designed to reduce pollutant emissions from coal.

The decision, which is not binding for the Council as Parliament has only a consultative role in this legislation, backs Germany in its quest to extend the deadline until the end of 2018. Pursuant to the German law regulating the phase-out of hard coal funding (Steinkohlefinanzierungsgesetz), subsidies can be paid until that date.

A decision by the Council is expected on 10 December 2010. The new regulation shall replace the current “Coal Regulation” (Council Regulation (EC) N° 1407/2002 of 23 July 2002) which expires on 31 December 2010.

Source: European Parliament

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