State aid: Commission approves €1.3 billion Danish scheme to compensate self-employed for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a DKK 10 billion (approximately €1.3 billion) Danish scheme that partially compensates the self-employed for the losses of turnover suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak. Under the scheme, which will run until 9 June 2020, self-employed registered in the Danish Civil Registration System will be entitled to be partially compensated for the losses of turnover suffered as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The compensation will take the form of grants and will cover 75% of the expected loss of turnover for a period of three months, calculated on the basis of the average monthly turnover in 2019. The maximum compensation will be DKK 23,000 (€3000) per month and per person. The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or specific sectors (in the form of schemes) for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Danish aid scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak and that the measure is proportionate, as the foreseen compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules, as it will contribute to mitigate the negative consequences of coronavirus for Danish businesses, without unduly distorting competition in the Internal Market. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The self-employed are hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. With this scheme, Denmark will compensate up to 75% of the expected loss of turnover for the self-employed with a maximum compensation of DKK 23,000 (€3000) per month and per person. The economic impact of the pandemic is severe. In this context, the Commission is working with all Member States to find workable solutions, in line with EU rules.” The full press release is available online.