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Parliamentary questions
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16 April 2019
Question for written answer E-001883-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (PPE) , José Manuel Fernandes (PPE) , Charles Tannock (ECR) , Wim van de Camp (PPE)

 Subject:  State Aid Scheme for the Madeira Free Trade Zone
 Answer in writing 

The approval of the State Aid Scheme for the Madeira Free Trade Zone within the framework of an open and competitive economy is covered in Article 349 TFEU, which stipulates that the Union shall adopt specific measures in particular areas such as fiscal policy and free zones. The aim of the Madeira Free Zone is to attract investment to and create jobs in Madeira.

Outermost Regions face a combination of permanent factors which restrain their development and growth. In July 2018, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation into whether Portugal’s implementation of the Madeira Free Zone regional aid scheme is in conformity with the Commission decisions approving it, which were adopted in 2007 and 2013.

In view of this:
When evaluating the Madeira state aid scheme, did the Commission take due account of Madeira’s status as an Outermost Region?
The geographical, demographic and economic characteristics of these regions mean that the disadvantages they face are permanent, so how can the Commission adopt measures of a temporary nature?
The primary aim of operating aid is to contribute to regional development in the Outermost Regions — is the Commission downgrading this objective?
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