Romanian coal mining supported by ‘illegal state aid’

Environmental groups filed a state aid complaint with the European Commission last week claiming that the Romanian government breached EU laws by financially supporting the expansion of coal mines owned by a state-owned power company.

The government paid local landowners €6m in compensation for land that was expropriated to expand four of CE Oltenia’s coal mines, according to the complaint.

CE Oltenia, a state-owned power company, operates four large coal plants, supplying close to 25% of Romania's electricity, in addition to coal mines.

ClientEarth says that the Romanian government failed to notify the commission about the support, as required by EU law, adding that “the nature of the aid also goes against EU law and should never have been granted in the first place”.

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