State aid: Commission approves Danish scheme to support organisers of events affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Danish scheme to support event organisers affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will be open to organisers of events with 350 or more participants, especially in the field of culture, sport and business which, though not prohibited, are subject to various restrictions, such as imposing mandatory protective gear, additional sanitary requirements, safe distancing and a requirement that participants must be seated on fixed seats facing the same direction. These general compulsory governmental restrictions may lead to the cancellation, deferral or substantial modification of the events. The aim of the scheme is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing due to these restrictive measures, and to ensure continuity of their economic activity. The scheme will be applicable between 1 September 2020 and 30 June 2021, provided that the governmental restrictions remain in force. The estimated budget is DKK 15 million (around €2 million) per month. The Commission found that this scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €800,000 per beneficiary; and (ii) aid will be granted before 30 June 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 measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the 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.59960 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.