The European Commission has discovered that varied Romanian public assist measures in favour of the Compania Națională a Uraniului SA (‘CNU’, the National Uranium Company) will not be in keeping with EU rules on State help to firms in issue. On 12 June 2017, Romania notified to the Commission a plan for the restructuring of CNU, which was experiencing monetary difficulties.
The restructuring plan adopted an pressing rescue help mortgage of round €13 million (RON 62 million) granted to maintain the corporate afloat, which the Commission had quickly authorized on 30 September 2016. EU State help rules solely permit a State intervention for a corporation in monetary issue beneath particular circumstances. On 8 May 2018, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation to evaluate whether or not the preliminary restructuring plan was in keeping with these circumstances and, therefore, with EU state help rules, specifically the Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines.
In the course of the investigation, Romania submitted two amended restructuring plans to the Commission. The Commission’s investigation confirmed that the newest restructuring plan, just like the earlier ones, doesn’t dispel the considerations that the Commission had when it opened the in-depth investigation in 2018. Therefore, the Commission concluded that the restructuring plan submitted by Romania is just not in keeping with EU state help rules.
As a outcome, Romania can’t implement the help measures envisaged within the plan, which embrace the State grants and the non-reimbursement of the 2016 rescue mortgage. Furthermore, the Commission concluded that the 2016 rescue mortgage of round €13 million (RON 62 million) plus curiosity which was extended and never reimbursed after 6 months is incompatible with EU State help rules and must be recovered by Romania.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, answerable for competitors coverage, mentioned: “A government can support a company in financial difficulty if the company has a sound restructuring plan which ensures its return to long-term viability, contributes to the cost of its restructuring and competition distortions are limited. In the case of CNU, these conditions were not met. As a result, Romania cannot further support the company. It must also recover the aid already granted. This will restore the competitive situation in the market and ensure that CNU does not compete unfairly with other more efficient operators. It will also prevent CNU from maintaining inefficient loss-making operations, which could eventually lead to higher electricity prices and a higher cost to the Romanian taxpayers.”
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