State aid: Commission approves €197,000 Slovenian scheme to support farmers and fishermen affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €197,000 Slovenian scheme to support farmers and fishermen affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will be open to micro companies (natural persons) active in agriculture, forestry, fishery and aquaculture, accommodation as well as food and beverages service activities sectors. The purpose of the scheme is to compensate farmers and fishermen who, due to the coronavirus, were unable to work on the farm or in the fishery enterprise and thus had to hire replacement labour for the duration of their incapacity for work. The measure is expected to benefit 260 companies. The Commission found that the scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will not exceed €100,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €120,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, and €800,000 per company active in all other sectors; and (ii) the scheme will run until 30 June 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 measures 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.60270 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.