Summary - State aid to the industry 2010
This report is about state aid to businesses in industry and services in 2010. The aim is to describe the state aid over the past year and its historical development in accordance with the EU Commission's accounting
requirements. The report was also the basis for the report from the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is carried out every two years and only deals with state aid to the industrial sector.
In 2010, all state aid payments, including the financial crisis measures, made up 56.6 billion SEK representing a decrease of 10 percent compared to last year. Leaving aside the crisis-related support, the state aid increased by 0.6 percent compared to 2009 from a value of 27.7 to 27.9 billion SEK. Categories which support increased in 2010 were the labor market aid with 43.3 percent, energy subsidies by 10.1 percent, and tax expenditures in the use of energy by 3.8 percent. It should be noted that the net cost of the assistance to small businesses fell sharply despite greater financial resources were mobilized during the year compared to 2009. Regional aid (-13.6) and R&D aid (-4.2), in the form of grants, decreased in 2010 compared to 2009. The other aid categories within the group miscellaneous fell by 44 percent. The greatest expenditure category is by far tax expenditures in the use of energy.
A special section describes briefly the continuing financial crisis and the direct effect on the Swedish and the EU27's level of state aid and the aid instruments that countries have primarily relied upon to respond to the crisis in 2010. It turned out that Sweden's economy was on a fast recovery process compared to 2009 in terms of GDP growth. Sweden's economic policy has also been of great importance to counter the negative effects of the continuing financial crisis.
The results also show that the Swedish aid policy implementation in 2010 (with the exception of emergency measures), and as previously reported, was in accordance to the EU Council recommendation, that is to say, "to increase their efforts to reduce the general level of State aid, shifting the emphasis of the ad hoc aid or aid to individual companies/sectors to focus on horizontal objectives of Community interest, such as employment, regional development, education, research and the environment".
The European Commission stressed that Member States are obliged to report all political measures to the Commission before being implemented. The simplification of the rules on state aid under State Aid Action Plan (SAAP) in 2005 takes account to shared responsibilities between the Commission and Member States. That is to say that there is a Block Exemption (de minimis-aid), which makes it possible to grant aid without prior notification to the Commission. The Block Exemption includes aid categories that do not have any significant impact on competition at EU level, but they contribute to the achievement of objectives of common interest. This does not apply to ad hoc aid which must be notified individually
This year, Sweden has reported state aid granted to the industry to the European Commission through the new tool called SARI (State Aid Reporting Interactive). SARI is an online database, which also simplifies the system to collect supporting data from member countries. The new system replaces SANI (State Aid Notification Interactive). The aims of the new tool are to simplify and facilitate state aid reporting to the EU Commission from Member States.