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State aid: Commission approves Spanish support scheme for renewable electricity

November 10, 2017

The European Commission has found the Spanish scheme supporting electricity generation from renewable energy sources, high efficiency cogeneration of heat and power and waste to be in line with EU State aid rules. The scheme will further EU energy and climate goals whilst preserving competition

Since 2016, support to new facilities is granted through competitive auctions. Different technologies have competed with each other in the latest auctions of May 2017 and July 2017. In total, support for capacity of slightly more than 8 gigawatts was awarded, essentially to wind and solar panel plants. As a result of these auctions, beneficiaries will receive compensation only if, in the coming years, the market price drops to a level significantly below today's market prices. This protection against an unexpectedly sharp fall in market prices helps developers to secure project financing, and therefore complete the projects on time. This will help Spain achieve its 2020 environmental and climate change objectives.

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As a result of the state aid, Spain  will have more opportunities to guarantee renewable energy. A European Energy Union is one of the European Commission's priorities. Reliable energy supplies at reasonable prices for businesses and consumers and with the minimum environmental impact are crucial to the European economy. 

Antitrust: Commission publishes non-confidential version of decision to fine Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service

February 23, 2023

Today, the European Commission has published the non-confidential version of the decision adopted on 27 June 2017 to fine Google €2.42 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. The decision found that Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.

This would be an example of proper functioning of the competition policies in terms of executing effective control as it has breached a basic condition. As a result, a monetary fine has been applied. 

€27 million for social enterprises in Denmark via EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation

May 28, 2023

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Merkur Cooperative Bank (Merkur) have signed the first Social Entrepreneurship guarantee agreement in Denmark under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). This new guarantee agreement allows Merkur to provide a total of €27 million to social entrepreneurs over the next 5 years. Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: "Thanks to €27 million in EU funding, Merkur will help 600 social entrepreneurs in Denmark to access financing. This will allow them to grow businesses in areas with a strong social impact such as educational institutions, social institutions for citizens with special needs and social enterprises. Through the programme for Employment and Social Innovation, the European Commission shows its commitment to foster sustainable employment for the most vulnerable people in the labour market." The EU-backed programme will help Merkur to provide loans to social enterprises, targeting vulnerable groups.

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