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Parliamentary questions
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19 November 2020
E-005379/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Vestager
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005379/2020

The question refers to potential state aid in a measure by which the regional government of Catalonia first buys a land plot for project ‘BCN World’ to then sell that same plot later to ‘Hard Rock’.

The Spanish authorities have not notified this measure to the Commission nor has the Commission received complaints from interested parties. The Commission therefore has not assessed whether it would entail state aid and is not in a position to take a view based on information available.

In general, State aid is defined in Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union(1). Further guidance on when a measure qualifies as state aid can be found in the Notice on the notion of aid(2), which for instance in points 4.2.3.1 and 4.2.3.2 provides relevant guidance for the purchase of assets ‐such as land, goods and services.

For such transactions, ‘no aid’ can be assumed if the transaction results from a competitive, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional tender procedure or is done on pari passu terms with private investors.

Also other methods (such as benchmarking on the basis of comparable transactions or other widely accepted assessment methods) can be used to demonstrate ‘no aid’.

(1)https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX%3A12008E107
(2)Commission Notice on the notion of state aid as referred to in Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52016XC0719(05)
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