State aid: Commission approves €1.1 billion Polish scheme to further support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

State aid: Commission approves €1.1 billion Polish scheme to further support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €1.1 billion (PLN 5 billion) Polish scheme to support companies in various sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €1.1 billion scheme will enable Poland to further support companies in various sectors, such as retail, tourism and entertainment, affected by the coronavirus outbreak, by helping them meet their liquidity needs and continue their activities. We continue working in close cooperation with Member States to find workable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules.”

The Polish support measures

Poland notified to the Commission a €1.1 billion scheme (PLN 5 billion) to further support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will apply to the whole territory of the Poland and consists of four measures:

  • The first measure, with an estimated budget of €173 million (PLN 777 million), will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies active in the tourism industry. The aid will take the form of wage subsidies to cover the employees’ salaries, amounting to €464 (PLN 2,000) per month per employee for a maximum period of 3 months;
  • The second measure, with an estimated budget of €215 million (PLN 964 million), will be open to SMEs and large companies active in several sectors, such as retail sale, restaurants and entertainment. The aid will take the form of direct grants of up to €928 (PLN 4,160) per beneficiary that experienced a decrease in operating income of at least 40% compared to a reference period set out in the scheme;
  • The third measure, with an estimated budget of €300 million (PLN 1.4 billion), will be open to micro and small entrepreneurs active in several sectors, such as retail sale, restaurants and entertainment. The aid will take the form of direct grants of up to €1,116 (PLN 5,000) per beneficiary;
  • The fourth measure, with an estimated budget of €400 million (PLN 1.9 billion), will be open to SMEs and large companies active in several sectors, such as retail sale, restaurants and entertainment. The aid will take the form of exemptions from social security contributions between 1 December 2020 or 1 January 2021 and 31 January 2021 for beneficiaries that experienced a decrease in operating income of at least 40% compared to a reference period set out in the scheme.

The four measures are also open to companies active in the primary agriculture, the fishery and aquaculture sectors, provided that they are engaged in the activities covered by the measures.

The Commission found that the Polish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €225,000 per company active in the primary production sector of agricultural products, €270,000 per company active in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and €1.8 million per company active in all other sectors as provided by the Temporary Framework ; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.

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 aid measure under EU State aid rules.

The Temporary Framework will be in place until the end of December 2021. With a view to ensuring legal certainty, the Commission will assess before this date if it needs to be extended.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.61825 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of State aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the Competition Weekly e-News.

More information on the Temporary Framework and other action the Commission has taken to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

Source: State aid: Commission approves €1.1 billion Polish scheme (europa.eu)

Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/fr/illustrations/corona-co%C3%BBt-euro-argent-5082975/

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