The European Commission has decided to prolong until 31 December 2021 the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
Please, find here below the text of the press release (IP/21/261) published by the European Commission (www.ec.europa.eu).
La Commissione europea ha deciso di prorogare, fino al 31 dicembre 2021, il quadro temporaneo per le misure di aiuto di Stato adottato il 19 marzo 2020 per sostenere l’economia nel contesto della pandemia di COVID-19. La Commissione ha inoltre deciso di ampliarne il campo di applicazione, aumentando i massimali in esso stabiliti e consentendo la conversione di alcuni strumenti rimborsabili in sovvenzioni dirette fino alla fine del prossimo anno.
Conversion of repayable instruments into direct grants
The Commission will also enable Member States to convert until 31 December 2022 repayable instruments (e.g. guarantees, loans, repayable advances) granted under the Temporary Framework into other forms of aid, such as direct grants, provided the conditions of the Temporary Framework are met. In principle, such conversion may not exceed the new ceilings for limited amounts of aid (€225,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €270,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €1.8 million per company active in all other sectors). This aims to provide incentives for Member States to choose, in the first place, repayable instruments as a form of aid.
Extension of the temporary removal of all countries from the list of “marketable risk” countries under the Short-term export-credit insurance Communication
Finally, taking into account the continued general lack of sufficient private capacity to cover all economically justifiable risks for exports to countries from the list of marketable risk countries, the amendment provides for an extension until 31 December 2021 (currently until 30 June 2021) of the temporary removal of all countries from the list of “marketable risk” countries under the Short-term export-credit insurance Communication.
Background on Temporary Framework and ongoing work to support the Recovery and Resilience Facility
On 19 March 2020, the Commission adopted a new State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Temporary framework was first amended on 3 April 2020 to increase possibilities for public support to research, testing and production of products relevant to fight the coronavirus outbreak, to protect jobs and to further support the economy. It was further amended on 8 May 2020 to enable recapitalisation and subordinated debt measures, and on 29 June 2020 to further support micro, small and start-up companies and to incentivise private investments. On 13 October 2020, the Commission adopted a fourth amendment to prolong the Temporary Framework and to enable aid covering part of the uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by the crisis.
The Temporary Framework recognises that the entire EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance. It enables Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy, while limiting negative consequences to the level playing field in the Single Market.
Furthermore, as Europe moves from crisis management to economic recovery, State aid control will also accompany and facilitate the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. In this context, on 21 December 2020, the Commission published a number of State aid guiding templates covering several types of investments projects in line with the “European flagships” of the Commission’s Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2021. Those templates are intended to assist Member States in the design of their national recovery plans, in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission will assess all State aid notifications received from Member States in the context of the Recovery and Resilience Facility as a matter of priority.
In addition, Member States intending to modify existing aid measures in order to prolong their duration until 31 December 2021, increase their budget or align them with the Temporary Framework, as amended today (including higher aid ceilings per company), may notify such amendments in a block notification. This will minimise the administrative burden for Member States.