The European Commission has approved a €140 million Slovenian scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €140 million scheme will enable Slovenia to mitigate the economic impact of Putin’s war in Ukraine and to further support companies across sectors affected by the current crisis and the related sanctions. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”
The Slovenian measure
Slovenia notified to the Commission under the Temporary Crisis Framework a €140 million scheme to support companies across sectors in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Under this measure, which will be administered by the national promotional bank SID Bank, the aid will take the form of (i) limited amounts of aid in the form of loans; (ii) liquidity support in the form of subsidised loans; and (iii) aid in the form of loans for additional costs due to severe increases in natural gas and electricity prices.
The measure will be open to companies across all sectors, with the exception of credit and financial institutions.
The Commission found that the Slovenian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, (i) the maturity of the loans cannot exceed eight years; (ii) the interest charges on the loans respect the minimum levels (modulated by an increase reflecting the duration of the guaranteed loans) set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework; and (iii) the loans will be granted by 31 December 2022 at the latest.
As regards the aid for additional costs due to exceptional natural gas and electricity price increases, the conditions of the Temporary Crisis Framework are also fulfilled. In particular, the overall aid per beneficiary cannot exceed 30% of the eligible costs, up to a maximum of €2 million. Energy-intensive users that incur operating losses may receive further aid up to €25 million and, if they are active in particularly affected sectors and sub-sectors, up to €50 million. The overall aid for energy intensive users cannot exceed 50% of the eligible costs and 70% for those active in particularly affected sectors. The overall aid can cover a maximum of 80% of the losses incurred.
The Commission concluded that the Slovenian scheme 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 Crisis Framework.
On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.