Position paper on proposed Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the market

European companies are facing unfair competition from third country producers in the EU market, with subsidies granted by non-EU governments to companies operating in the Single Market having an increasingly negative impact on competition. Considering this, ESMIG welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market.

Our members provide products and services for mission critical infrastructures and risks of unfair competition are closely connected with the safety of the electricity and gas grids, privacy, and data security of Europe’s citizens. At the same time, smart technologies are essential for enabling the green and digital energy transition. Energy management is critical for the EU’s strategic autonomy and its safety should be ensured.

We support the European Commission’s proposal in Article 28 of the draft Regulation to introduce a mechanism of prior notification of foreign financial contributions in the context of public procurement procedures. However, we are concerned with the proposal to apply this procedure only where the estimated value of the procurement is €250 million or more as most of the public procurements for the roll-outs of smart meters in the European Union are below this threshold.

Therefore, multiple criteria should be defined, including “mission critical infrastructure” in addition to the threshold. That way, the Regulation would not only create a fair level-playing field, but also support the EU’s strategic autonomy and secure EU mission critical infrastructure.

As stated by Mojca Markizeti, Chair of ESMIG’s Regulation and Policy Working Group, “We urge the EU Council and European Parliament to ensure that the two new references to critical infrastructure included in the European Parliament’s report are maintained in the final agreement. This Regulation must be fit for purpose and help guarantee a level playing field in the internal market for these primordial European industries. The energy sector is at potential risk in the context of strategic independence and sovereignty, hence securing EU mission critical infrastructure is key.”

Download the position paper here.



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