European Commission approves €1 billion Hungarian aid scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has approved a HUF 350 billion (approximately €1 billion) scheme to support the Hungarian economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The support measures available under the scheme will be financed by the EU structural funds. 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 €1 billion Hungarian scheme will help Hungarian companies through direct grants, loans and equity measures financed by the European structural funds. In these difficult times, it will support companies suffering from the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak. Our work with Member States continues to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a coordinated and effective way, in line with EU rules.”
The Hungarian support measures
Hungary notified to the Commission under the Temporary Frameworka HUF 350 billion (approximately €1 billion) scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak through direct grants, loans and equity measures, using EU structural funds for that purpose.
The scheme will be open to all companies, i.e. micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies, which have access to European structural funds and are facing difficulties as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Commission found that the scheme notified by Hungary is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €800,000 per company, €100,000 per undertaking active in the primary production of agricultural products, €120,000 per undertaking active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and (ii) aid cannot be granted to undertakings that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019.
The Commission therefore concluded that the Hungarian 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 measures under EU State aid rules.