State aid: Commission approves €1.8 million Estonian scheme for liquidity support to fish processors in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €1.8 million Estonian scheme to support fish processors affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures that the Estonian government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will be open to fish processors affected by business disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak and its consequent impact on the fisheries supply chain and consumer demand. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants.  The measure aims at mitigating the liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing and at addressing part of the losses they incurred. The Commission found that the Estonian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €270,000 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.63935 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.