State aid: Commission approves €20 million Slovenian scheme to support companies active in public transport sector affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €20 million Slovenian scheme to support companies active in the public transport sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants to compensate public transport providers (including bus and van services) and operators of bus stations for the costs incurred because they were unable to carry out their activities due to the coronavirus outbreak, and to cover the costs of preventive hygiene means in vehicles. The purpose of the scheme is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that these companies are facing due to the restrictive measures implemented by the Slovenian government to limit the spread of the virus. The Commission found that the Slovenian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €1.8 million per company; 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. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.61132 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.