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under Article 86(2)114. The conditions under which a compensation for SGEI can be declared compatible were clarified by the 2005 Community Framework115. The Framework requires, in particular, that the compensation does not exceed the costs incurred in discharging the public service obligations.

82.

Among the State aid decisions two authorisations in favour of the UK Post Office (on 7 March116 and 29 November117) may be mentioned. The Commission also decided to open a formal investigation against Germany to assess whether Deutsche Post AG was overcompensated for carrying out its universal service obligations118.

83.

The Commission paid particular attention to State aid in the form of unlimited guarantees. On 25 April, the Commission formally took note of the agreement by Poland to end the unlimited State guarantee enjoyed by the Polish Post Office119. On 29 November the Commission decided to launch an in-depth investigation to examine whether the French La Poste, as a public law entity, enjoys an unlimited State guarantee120. In another case concerning La Poste the Commission gave conditional authorisation for aid to finance pensions

121

.

3.

THE EUROPEAN COMPETITION NETWORK AND NATIONAL COURTS — OVERVIEW OF COOPERATION

84.

2007 was the third full year of implementation of the enforcement system set up by Regulation 1/2003. It saw a further strengthening of cooperation between the members of the European Competition Network (ECN), i.e. the EU Member States’ National Competition Authorities (NCAs) and the Commission. The actual intensity, scope and potential of cooperation within the ECN go beyond the legal obligations set out in Regulation 1/2003.

114

115

116 117

118

119 120

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Under Article 86(2), undertakings entrusted with a SGEI can avoid application of the rules on competition if the application of these rules obstructs the performance, in law or in fact, of the particular tasks assigned to them. Community Framework for State aid in the form of public service compensation (OJ C 297, 29.11.2005, p. 4) Case N 822/2006, Debt payment funding to Post Office Limited (OJ C 80, 13.4.2007, p. 5). Case N 388/2007, Post Office Ltd: Transformation. The Decision is available on DG Competition’s website http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/register/ii/ not yet published in the OJ. Case C 36/2007, Complaint against the German State for unlawful State aid to Deutsche Post (OJ C 245, 19.10.2007 p. 21). This aid was in addition to the aid already found to be incompatible in the Commission Decision of 19 June 2002 on measures implemented by Germany for Deutsche Post AG (OJ L 247, 14.9.2002, p. 27). Case E12/2005, Unlimited State guarantee in favour of Poczta Polska (OJ C 284, 27.11.2007). Case C 56/2007 (ex E15/2005), Garantie illimitée de l’Etat en faveur de La Poste. The Decision is available on DG Competition’s website http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/state_aid/register/ii/ not yet published in the OJ. Case C 43/2006, Projet de réforme du financement des retraites des fonctionnaires de La Poste

française.

The

Decision

is

available

on

DG

Competition’s

website

( h t t p : / / e c . e u r o p a . e u / c o m m / c o m p e t i t i o n / s t a t e _ a i d / r e g i s t e r / i i ) n o t y e t p u b l i s h e d i n t h e O J .

20

EN

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