State aid: Commission approves €2 million Estonia scheme to support organisers of cultural events and conferences in context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €2 million Estonia scheme to support the organisers of cultural events and conferences taking place in Estonia in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants to cover unavoidable expenses incurred by the organisers of events or conferences for which planned income is lost or reduced due to restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus. Aid can be granted for events planned until 31 December 2021, with a minimum amount of €5,000 and maximum of €100,000 per event. The purpose of the measure is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that the affected companies are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Estonian measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support per company will not exceed €1.8 million; and (ii) it 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, pursuant to Article 107(3)(b) of the TFEU and of 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.63701 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.