European Commission approves a €4.8 billion Polish guarantee scheme to support economy in coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a PLN 22 billion (approximately €4.8 billion) Polish aid scheme to support the Polish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This PLN 22 billion Polish guarantee scheme will help Polish businesses affected by the current coronavirus crisis cover their immediate working capital and investment needs, and continue their activities in these difficult times. We continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a coordinated and effective way, in line with EU rules.”

The Polish support measures

Poland notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a guarantee scheme on existing or new loans to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme has an estimated budget of PLN 22 billion (approximately €4.8 billion).

The support consists in the provision by the Polish National Development Bank, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, of public guarantees on investment loans and working capital loans.

The scheme, which will be accessible by medium and large Polish companies active in all sectors,aims at limiting the risk associated with issuing loans to those companies that are most severely affected by the economic impact of the current crisis. It will help businesses cover their immediate working capital or investment needs and ensure that they have sufficient liquidity to continue their activities.

The Commission found that the Polish measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular: (i) the underlying loan amount per company is limited to what is needed to cover its liquidity needs for the foreseeable future, (ii) the guarantees will only be provided until the end of this year, (iii) the guarantees are limited to a maximum two-year duration, and (iv) guarantee fee premiums and interest rates do not exceed the levels foreseen by the levels foreseen by the Temporary Framework.

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules.