State aid: Commission approves €22.7 million Croatian scheme to support the primary agricultural sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €22.7 million (HRK 171 million) Croatian scheme to support companies active in certain primary agricultural sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The measure will be open to horse breeders, cattle, pig and poultry producers as well as to companies active in the sheep and goat sector. The scheme aims to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The measure is expected to benefit more than 21,800 companies. The Commission found that the Croatian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €225,000 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 set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under the 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.100417 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competitionwebsite once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.