Financial measures adopted in Poland in the light of COVID-19 state aid EU framework

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The aim of the study was to identify changes in the EU state aid rules triggered by COVID-19, as well as to assess state aid measures offered by Poland from the perspective of their potential impact on competition within the Internal Market of the EU. To this end, an analysis was carried out of not only changes in the EU legislation but also of aid schemes introduced in Poland compared to instruments available in other Member States. Simultaneously, we need to highlight that Poland, like other EU members, first froze its economy in Spring 2020, which led to significant losses in companies’ revenue and income. Consequently, it was incumbent on the state to provide financial liquidity to the businesses that had lost it. The actions undertaken by richer EU Member States could have a negative impact on competition conditions within the EU internal market. This imbalance may lead to the upsetting of the level playing field within the internal market, to the reduction or elimination of the benefits resulting from the functioning of Polish (and other) entrepreneurs in the EU Single Market, and, consequently, to serious tensions in the EU and legitimate questions about the future of the European integration project.

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... 107 para. 2 subpara. B of the TFEU) (much less frequently invoked -Nicolaides, 2020; Ambroziak, 2021a;Kubera, 2021). ...
... As in the previous years, state aid intensity in the EU accounted for 1%-1.5% of EU GDP, according to the conclusion drawn by Agnolucci [2021], who confirmed that "classical policy objectives of state aid measures such as environmental protection, regional aid, and R&D and innovation, have been set aside in order to aid undertakings in difficulty". It seems that flexible state aid rules and significant differences in COVID-19 state aid budgets approved by the Commission may, in the future, distort the competition in the EU market [Van Hove, 2020;Ambroziak, 2021a]. ...
... In the case of external financing for SMEs, many forms of assistance are mentioned worldwide, including, among others, government guarantees, as instruments that provide liquidity but also put the least strain on public finances [Corredera-Catalán et al., 2021], credit guarantees [Brault and Signore, 2020], reverse factoring as an option for small-sized businesses looking for quick access to cash without going into debt [Elizundia et al., 2021], as well as direct liquidity subsidies [Dörr et al., 2021], subsidized workers' remuneration designed to preserve employment [Antonescu, 2020;Dörr et al., 2021], and payment breaks [Duignan and McGeever, 2020]. Despite individual evaluations of aid programs available in Poland in relation to COVID-19 [Ambroziak, 2021a;Łopatka and Fedorowicz, 2021;OECD, 2021], a comprehensive study of the effectiveness of targeting aid schemes to the most needy enterprises is still lacking. Indeed, the literature indicates that policy interventions need to be sensitive to the different types of SMEs, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach [Juergensen et al., 2020;Belghitar et al., 2021;Dörr et al., 2021], as well as targeting promising firms to reduce deadweight loss [Santarelli and Vivarelli, 2002]. ...
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Lockdowns imposed by the European Union (EU) Member States produced significant consequences in the form of losses to companies, which is why the Member States decided to assist businesses from public funds. This paper aims to identify and initially assess the implementation of schemes under which coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19)-related state aid was granted in Poland in 2020 for different instruments and beneficiary sizes. The idea was to find out how well aforementioned schemes responded to the needs of companies affected the most by the COVID-19-inflicted crisis. To this end, statistical analysis was deployed to learn about the share of individual groups of businesses of different sizes in support instruments granted in relation with COVID-19 by type of aid. The study helped to demonstrate that Polish aid schemes approved by the European Commission in 2020 assisted mainly micro-and small-sized companies, which usually suffered from poor liquidity, by predominantly soft instruments.
... 107 (3b): "aid to promote the execution of an important project of common European interest or to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State"; and Art. 107 (3c): "aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas, where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest") [Rosiak, Przybyszewska, 2020;Ambroziak, 2021b;Kopeć, 2021]. In consequence, one can speak of a wholly new approach to public intervention in the single market. ...
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This study is an annual update of the report on state aid granted in Poland due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to identify changes in the value, intensity and directions of state aid granted in Poland year-to-year in 2020–2022. The study relies mainly on the author’s own calculations based on data from the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection, as well as European Commission decisions in the matter, in the context of the budgets of other EU member states [Ambroziak, 2021a, 2022b].
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The study posed a research question: did the situation caused by COVID-19 affect the economic position of energy companies? The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of the situation of the epidemic state introduced in 2020 on the activities of the efficiency of energy sector companies. The subject of the research will be the ten largest Polish power plants in terms of electricity production, including four capital groups to which they belong. Financial data from 2014 to 2020 will be used for the research. To test the effectiveness, the tools of the ratio analysis will be used. The analysis of the financial statements in terms of investments in manufacturing activities confirms the hypothesis that companies investing in new solutions and technologies will be best prepared for an exceptional situation. The results of the research show that those capital groups which in the period preceding the outbreak of the epidemic made the largest investment outlays and at the same time their financial ratios and market valuation on the Warsaw Stock Exchange were the highest, they also achieved the highest financial results during the pandemic—they had the most favorable economic situation.
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