State aid: Commission approves €120 million Lithuanian scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €120 million Lithuanian aid scheme to support companies that had to suspend or reduce their activities due to the restrictive measures that the Lithuanian government had to introduce to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The scheme consists of two separate measures: (i) direct grants in limited amounts for the first measure and (ii) support for uncovered fixed costs for the second measure. The scheme will be open to companies active in sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with the exception of the companies in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, credit, insurance, pension funding, and financial sectors. Beneficiaries eligible for the first measure will be able to select the aid of limited amounts in the form of a direct grant which will be calculated based on their turnover decline and their number of employees; or a direct grant that cannot be higher than 70% of total uncovered costs, and does not exceed €40,000 per company. The beneficiaries eligible for the second measure will receive an aid of maximum of 70% of their uncovered fixed costs. The aim of the scheme is to help the beneficiaries to address their liquidity needs and continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Lithuanian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) with regard to the first measure, the aid will not exceed €1.8 million per company; (ii) with regard to the second measure, the support will not exceed 70% of the company’s uncovered fixed costs. The Commission concluded that the measures are 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. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.62306 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.