Source: European Parliament
The Commission temporarily approved state aid in favour of BayernLB, worth more than EUR 15 billion in total, in a rescue aid decision on 18 December 2008(1).
On 12 May 2009, the Commission decided to open a formal investigation because it had doubts whether the restructuring plan initially submitted in 2009 would be able to restore the viability of BayernLB, as required under EU State aid rules.(2) The initial restructuring plan of 2009 already included the intention of BayernLB to sell its holding in GBW by 2013, as one of the bank’s non-core activities.
In the course of an investigation procedure, the Commission and the Member State endeavour to ensure the restructuring plan is improved so that it complies with the applicable requirements. This is usually done by means of commitments and/or conditions. Commitments are made independently by the Member State and, unlike conditions, are not imposed unilaterally by the Commission.
The Commission cannot speculate on the hypothetical scenarios raised in questions 1 and 2. In general, if a measure that a Member State intends to implement entails state aid, it is obliged to notify this to the Commission pursuant to Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Germany notified the relevant commitment catalogue on 28 June 2012. The aid measures to BayernLB were formally approved by the Commission on 25 July 2012 as restructuring aid (Case C16/2009, amended by decision of 5 February 2013(3)), taking into account the final restructuring plan and commitments provided by Germany and BayernLB.
The commitment to sell GBW, as provided by Germany and BayernLB and annexed to the Commission’s final decision, became binding as from the date of the final decision. If a Member State intends to alter an approved aid measure, it would be obliged to file a new notification to the Commission. No such notification was received in this case.