European Commission approves €200 million Irish scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has approved a €200 million Irish scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme, called “Sustaining Enterprise 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 €200 millionscheme will enable Ireland to support companies operating in the manufacturing and in the internationally traded services sectorsaffected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure will help ensure that these businesses can continue their activities during these difficult times. Our work with Member States continues and ensures that national support measures can be put in place in a coordinated and effective way, in line with EU rules.”
The Irish support measures
Ireland notified to the Commission under the Temporary Frameworka €200 million scheme to support undertakings operating in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors in Ireland affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, repayable advances, equity injections, and subsidised loans, aims at ensuring that companies have sufficient liquidity to maintain their activities during and after the outbreak. The scheme, which applies to the whole territory of Ireland, will be open to companies of all sizes.
The Commission found that the scheme notified by Ireland is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support will not exceed the nominal amount of €800,000 per undertaking. In addition, aid under the scheme can be granted until 31 December 2020.
The Commission concluded that the Irish 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.