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Parliamentary question - E-006434/2015(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the Commission

1. The Polish authorities notified the Commission about their plans to provide support measures to hard coal mines facing financial difficulties and intended for closure. The Commission's assessment of the case is ongoing.

2. Aid to the coal mining sector has to be assessed under Council Decision 2010/787/EU of 10 December 2010 on state aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive coal mines. The Commission will approve only support measures which respect the requirements established by that Decision.

3. The Council Decision sets a number of conditions which aim to ensure that any potential negative effects of support to uncompetitive mines on the European energy market are limited. Public support may be granted only if the mining activity of the supported mine is phased out. Supported mines have to close by end 2018 at the latest. The amount of support is subject to caps, and support must follow a downward trend. Compliance with those conditions should ensure that the restructuring of the Polish coal mining sector does not have negative repercussions on the rest of the European market.