The European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) launched 30.04.20 a public consultation in accordance with the EU Regulation establishing a Guideline on Electricity Balancing, which aims to further integrate the EU balancing markets regionally. It refers to the methodologies needed to create a common Nordic automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) Balancing Capacity Market for Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. The methodologies provide the description of common and harmonised rules for the procurement of balancing capacity, as well as the method to determine the value and amount of cross-zonal capacity allowing the exchange of balancing capacity between those countries. All interested parties are invited to submit their comments by 20.05.20. Visit the consultation here.
The Norwegian Parliament adopted 17.04.20 a temporary law introducing exceptions from procedural rules in the Competition Act due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The law extends some of the deadlines for the review of mergers with 15 working days. The Competition Authority’s deadlines in Section 20 of the Competition Act for informing parties that the Authority may intervene against a notified transaction, for issuing a statement of objections, and for adopting decisions confirming remedies proposed by the parties are extended. The deadlines in Section 20 a of the Competition Act for the handling of appeals before the Competition Tribunal are also extended. These extensions apply both to mergers the Competition Authority is currently examining as well as to future transactions that are notified during the period under which the temporary act is in force. The Act applies until 31.10.20.
The Commission released 01.04.20 guidance for public buyers to help public authorities use the flexibility provided by the EEA’s public procurement framework to ensure rapid and efficient purchases of all necessary equipment. The possibilities range from considerably shortening the public procurement process to emergency procurement that is not subject to EU procedural requirements and does not require the prior publication of tender notices. The guidance also recommends that public buyers consider alternative innovative solutions and ways of engaging with the market. Visit the guidance here.
The Commission published 16.04.20 guidance on the development of new apps that support the fight against coronavirus in relation to data protection. The development of such apps and their take up by citizens can have a significant impact on the treatment of the virus and can play an important role in the strategy to lift containment measures, complementing other measures like increased testing capacities. This guidance follows the recent publication of the Commission Recommendation on a common EEA approach for the use of mobile applications and mobile data, and is accompanying an EEA toolbox on contact tracing apps, which is also published 16.04.20. Visit the guidance here and the accompanying recommendation here.
ESA approved 17.04.20 a temporary compensation scheme for companies in Norway covering substantial losses in turnover resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictive measures implemented. Companies of all sizes all over Norway are hit hard by the impact of the pandemic. Urgent action is needed to avoid a wave of bankruptcies and further job losses. The situation is acute for companies that are already not able to pay their fixed monthly costs. Many more are likely to face this problem in the coming weeks. The new compensation scheme will be generally applicable across most sectors of the Norwegian economy. It will benefit companies facing a sudden loss of turnover due to the economic effects of the outbreak. Visit the decision here.
ESA approved 27.04.20 a scheme that ensures access to liquidity for start-up facilitators and related organisations. The Norwegian start-up ecosystem consist of incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and other facilitators. They are struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sector is experiencing large revenue losses and is in danger of disappearing. This would weaken the opportunities for a whole generation of entrepreneurs in Norway. These undertakings can now receive grants under the approved scheme, which has a budget of NOK 50 million. Visit the decision here.