State aid: Commission approves Danish umbrella scheme to support self-employed undertakings affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a Danish umbrella scheme to support micro and small sized self-employed undertakings 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 self-employed undertakings active in all sectors of the economy, except the financial sector, which incur a loss of turnover as a result of the restrictive measures adopted (or to be adopted) by the Danish government to limit the spread of the coronavirus between 19 August 2020 until 30 June 2021. The estimated budget of the scheme is DKK 0.5 billion (around €67 million) per month in the period September-December 2020. The estimated budget for the first semester of 2021 is expected to be around the same amount. The Commission found that that the Danish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €100,000 per beneficiary active in the agriculture sector, €120,000 per beneficiary active in the fishery and aquaculture sector and €800,000 per beneficiary active in all other sectors; 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.59764 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.