State aid: Commission approves €275,000 Portuguese scheme to support the sugarcane-processing sector in Madeira affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €275,000 Portuguese scheme to support companies active in the sugarcane-processing sector in Madeira in the context of 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 measure aims at mitigating the liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing and at addressing part of the losses that they incurred due to the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures in place to limit the spread of virus. The Commission found that the Portuguese scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will exceed the limits per beneficiary set by the Temporary Framework; 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 scheme 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.64041 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.