State aid: Commission approves €123 million Polish scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €123 million (PLN 545 million) Polish scheme to support companies affected by  the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The support will take the form of: (i) a reduction of the annual fee due for the perpetual usufruct, and (ii) an exemption of the rent, lease or usufruct fees owed by companies that use publicly owned real estate for their business activities. The measure will apply to both real estate owned by the Polish State and to that owned by local authorities, subject to their agreement. The objective of the measure is to mitigate the liquidity shortages that  companies have experienced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak by reducing certain real estate fees they have to bear in connection with their business activities. The Commission found that the Polish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular: (i) the reductions and exemptions do not exceed €800,000 per undertaking (€100,000 per undertaking active in the primary production of agriculture products; €120,000 per undertaking active in the fishery and aquaculture sector) as provided by the Temporary Framework; (ii) the aid measure is limited in time; and (iii) undertakings that were in difficulty on 31 December 2019 are excluded. 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.57726 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.