The European Commission gave Belgium the green light on Friday to grant 1.3 billion euros to bpost as compensation for the provision of postal services of general economic interest from 2016 to 2020, the Commission announced on Friday. In early 2016, Belgium had disclosed its intention to grant bpost compensation for a number of public services, including the maintenance of a network of post offices throughout the country, payment of retirement pensions at home, provision of universal services in cash at the counter, delivery of electoral documents and delivery of dailies and periodicals recognized in Belgium.
European rules allow member states to provide aid for the provision of certain public services, but they need to ensure that the services providers do not benefit from a disloyal competitive advantage by receiving compensation in excess of the cost of delivering the services.
The Commission’s analysis showed that the compensation granted to bpost was calculated on the basis of a rigorous method that guaranteed compliance with European rules, the Commission indicated in a press release. (Belga)