State aid: Commission approves €15.34 million Bulgarian scheme to support the tourism sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €15.34 million (BGN 30 million) Bulgarian scheme to support companies active in the tourism sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. In order to be eligible, companies must have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% over 2020, compared to 2019. The aid amount per beneficiary will not exceed 20% of its turnover in 2019, or €1.8 million, whichever the lowest. The Commission found that the 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.100427 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.