On 22 January 2018, the European Commission found the Croatian plans to grant Uljanik shipyard a State guarantee for a 96 million euro loan to be in line with EU State aid rules.
With its plan, notified to the Commission on 15 January 2018, Croatia aims to enable Uljanik shipyard business continuity, overcome the adverse effects of the financial crisis on the shipbuilding industry and pay wages, suppliers and other urgent liabilities.
Pursuant to the Commission’s rescue and restructuring guidelines, a Member State may support companies in difficulty, provided, in particular, that the public measures are limited in time and scope and contribute to an objective of common interest.
In the present case, the Commission found that the aid is necessary to prevent Uljanik from going out of business immediately and avoid 1800 job losses in a region where unemployment is significantly higher than the EU average. It will also give to the company the liquidity it needs over the next months. The funds will be monitored by an independent auditor. Finally, Croatia committed to notify a restructuring plan for the company within a maximum of six months.
For all these reasons, the Commission concluded that the strict conditions attached to the use of the funds and the short duration of the measure will reduce the distortion of competition potentially triggered by the State support to a minimum.