On 11 December 2020, Spanish member of the European Parliament (MEP) Francisco José Millán Mon of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) posed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission:
“For years, the Government of the Autonomous Community of Galicia (Spain) and Galician electro-intensive industry workers have been calling for the Spanish Government to approve a statute for electro-intensive consumers that sets a competitive price for electricity and would enable a range of companies (Alcoa, Alu Ibérica, Ferroatlántica, Celsa Atlantic, etc.) to compete on level terms and guarantee large numbers of jobs.
Although the Spanish Government announced for the first time on 31 October 2018 that a proposal to introduce a statute for electro-intensive consumers had been approved, no statute has yet been formally adopted. The Ministry of Industry argues that, before the statute can be definitively adopted, a favourable decision from the Commission is required in the context of the prior screening of State aid.
1. When was the Commission first made aware of the Spanish Government’s intention to adopt a statute for electro-intensive consumers?
2. On what date did the Commission receive prior notification from the Spanish Government under the State aid screening procedure?
3. When does the Commission intend to decide on the compatibility of the Spanish Government’s proposed statute with the internal market?”
On 29 January 2021, Executive Vice-President Vestager responded on behalf of the European Commission stating: “State aid procedural rules of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1589 indicate that preliminary examination of Member States’ notifications takes place exclusively between the Commission and the concerned Member States.
The Commission is currently working in close contact with the Spanish authorities on a set of measures intended to support Spanish electro intensive users and can therefore not provide any further details on the timing of the ongoing procedure.
In general, national measures to support energy intensive users through reductions on electricity surcharges financing decarbonisation policies are assessed by the Commission in line with the relevant provisions of the Guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy.”
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