State aid: Commission approves €1.5 million Bulgarian scheme to support farmers active in oil-bearing rose growing in the context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €1.5 million Bulgarian scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in oil-bearing rose growing affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme aims at mitigating the liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak and to the restrictive measures that the Bulgarian government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The eligible beneficiaries will be compensated for losses incurred between March 2020 and December 2021, up to approximately €50 per hectare of roses. The measure is expected to benefit between 500 and 1000 farming companies. The Commission found that the Bulgarian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €225,000 per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 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 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.63638 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.