State aid: Commission approves €1.5 million Slovenian scheme to support potato farmers affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €1.5 million Slovenian scheme to support potato farmers 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 of €1,200/hectare, up to a maximum ceiling of €20,000, to compensate farmers for their loss of income caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of the scheme is to help the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs and continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Slovenian scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, the overall aid (i) will not exceed €225,000 per beneficiary active in the primary agricultural sector; and (ii) will be granted until 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 scheme 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.63194 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.