In September 2018, the Secretariat was informed by a complainant about the decision of the State Aid Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina of July 2018 which found the public guarantee granted in favour of the Export-Import Bank of China for a loan by the latter to the public utility Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. Sarajevo for the Tuzla 7 project not to constitute State aid.
The Secretariat assessed the State Aid Council’s decision and the additional documents provided by the Elektroprivreda BiH and came to the preliminary conclusion that the Tuzla 7 guarantee in fact constitutes State aid. The State Aid Council’s decision is thus not in line with the Energy Community State aid acquis.
Independent lawyers have now analysed the State Aid Council’s decision and the underlying public guarantee and have confirmed the Secretariat’s finding that the Tuzla 7 guarantee contains elements of State aid. The opinion was submitted to the State Aid Council.
The State Aid Council should therefore reopen its procedure and re-examine the guarantee in line with the Energy Community State aid acquis. The Secretariat also reiterates that the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina should not approve the guarantee, based on a non-compliant decision from its State aid authority. The Secretariat, in line with its agreement with the institutions and companies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, commits to support a clear and final decision in line with Energy Community law, which would also restore legal certainty for the project.