Within the last days several EU Member States published financial support packages and protection shields for companies and businesses to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, the Member States are not completely flexible to provide financial support. They must comply with the requirements of EU State aid law. Nevertheless, EU State aid law already provides tools that give the Member States room to navigate its financial support packages. Certain measures are even excluded from notification obligation under the State aid regime (e.g. relief applying to all companies or State aid under De-minimis rules). On 13 March 2020, the EU Commission initially published a short overview summarizing how Member States can provide liquidity for companies and business sectors experiencing liquidity problems in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Furthermore, on 17 March 2020, the EU Commission published a statement on a draft proposal for a State aid temporary framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak to remedy a serious disturbance across the EU economy. The EU Commission has sent to Member States for consultation a draft proposal for the Temporary Framework.
Companies should confirm that Member States’s authorities have cleared any aid with the EU Commission and/or that the aid complies with EU State aid rules. Companies should carefully evaluate the risk of receiving (potential) illegal aid.
Our comprehensive flow chart provides more details of the EU State aid regime as well as an overview of announced or already implemented State aid measures in selected EU Member States and the UK. We will continue to update this overview in the next days since further State aid announcements are to be expected from the EU Commission and the Member States.
This information is constantly updated. For the latest on this, please follow this link.