State aid: Commission approves €200 million Danish scheme to compensate companies for the damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved €200 million Danish scheme to support companies in various sectors in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of the scheme is to compensate companies with mixed activities (i.e. companies for which part of their activities is allowed, while another part is prohibited) for the damages suffered because of business disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak and to the restrictive measures implemented by the Danish government to limit the spread of the virus. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants, with a maximum amount per beneficiary of approximately €4 million (DKK 30 million) per month. The public support will cover part of the fixed costs incurred by companies suffering a decline in turnover resulting from prohibited activities of at least 35% during the period from 9 July 2020 until 30 September 2021 (subject to relevant restrictions being in place), compared to the corresponding period in 2019. The Commission assessed the measure under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or specific sectors for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. It also found that the measure is proportionate, as the envisaged compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. On this basis, the Commission concluded that the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules. More information on the 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.62538 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.