State aid: Commission approves a €358 million Romanian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic
The European Commission has approved a Romanian scheme of up to €358 million (approximately RON 1.7 billion) to support companies in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The measure will be open to micro, small and medium-sized companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic and active in sectors, such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and accommodation. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The measure aims at helping companies finance investments in tangible and intangible assets to overcome the investment gap accumulated in the economy due to the coronavirus crisis. The measure is expected to benefit about 1,000 companies. The Commission found that the Romanian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular: the aid (i) will not exceed 1% of the total budget of the scheme per beneficiary; (ii) will benefit investments in tangible and intangible assets but not financial investments; (iii) will not exceed the maximum aid intensities, set out in the Temporary Framework; and (iv) will be granted no later than 31 December 2022. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to facilitate the development of certain economic activities, which are of importance for a sustainable recovery of the economy, in line with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.103503 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.