State aid: Commission approves €139.7 million Polish scheme to support bus operators in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €139.7 million (approximately PLN 638 million) Polish scheme to support bus operators affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The aid will take the form of direct grants and will be open to bus operators that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, faced a decline in turnover over 2021, compared to 2019.  The aim of the scheme is to compensate the beneficiaries for the damage suffered due to the restrictive measures that the Polish government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The Commission found that the Polish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €1.8 million 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 of 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.62603 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.