European Commission approves €450 million Polish scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €450 million scheme (approximately PLN 2 billion)to support the Polish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The support measures available under the scheme will be co-financed by the EU structural funds (ESIF).The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April and 8 May 2020.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €450 million Polish scheme – co-financed by EU structural funds – will enable Poland to further enhance access to liquidity by companies in need through the provision of loans and State guarantees on loans covering 100% of the risk in the amount of up to €800,000 per company. The support will help businesses active in all sectors to continue their activities during and after 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 Polish support measures

Poland notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a €450 million (approximately PLN 2 billion) scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The measure will be co-financed by the ESIF. Member States can decide how to use EU structural funds, in compliance with ESIF rules and – where these funds are used to grant support to companies, possibly with co-financing from the Member State – in compliance with EU State aid rules.

The support will take the form of loans and public guarantees on loans.

The scheme will be accessible to companies active in all sectors, which have access to European structural funds and are facing difficulties in consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. It is estimated that approximately 7,000 enterprises will benefit from the support.

The scheme aims at mitigating the negative economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Its purpose is to address the liquidity needs of those companies which are most severely affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and to help them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment during and after the outbreak.

The Commission found that the Polish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €100,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €120,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €800,000 per company active in all other sectors as provided by the Temporary Framework; and (ii) the support will not be granted to companies that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019.

The Commission concluded that the Polish 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.

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