State aid: Commission acknowledges implementation by Denmark of a € 255.5 million Danish scheme to compensate mink farmers affected by coronavirus measures

The European Commission has published an information note on the implementation by Denmark of a € 255.5 million (a DKK 1.9 billion) Danish scheme to support farmers active in the mink fur sector that were affected by the extraordinary measures that the Danish government had to take to limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The Danish authorities consider that the scheme falls within the scope of the Agricultural Block Exemption Regulation No 702/2014 (“ABER”). The Commission took note of Denmark’s intention and published the scheme on its website for information purposes within 24 hours of receipt from Denmark. This means that the scheme can be immediately implemented and does not have to be notified to and approved by the Commission under EU State aid rules. The support will take the form of direct grants consisting in advance payments covering a part of the skin value of the culled minks and the costs of the culling. Aid under the scheme can be granted until 30 June 2023, in line with the conditions set out in Article 26 of the ABER, which enables Member States to grant aid to cover the costs for the prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases under certain conditions without the need of prior approval by the Commission. In line with standard EU State aid rules, schemes covered by block exemptions are not assessed by the Commission. Such assessment and the granting of aid under block exempted schemes lies within the responsibility of the Member State. More information on the actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The information sheet submitted to the Commission will be made available under the case number SA.61782 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website.