State aid: Commission approves €3.9 million Czech scheme to support self-employed persons affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €3.9 million Czech scheme to support self-employed persons in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of deferral of payment of health insurance contributions. The aim of the measure is to ease the liquidity constraints self-employed are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures the Czech government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The scheme is expected to benefit 900,000 self-employed persons. The Commission found that the Czech scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the deferred contributions will be paid before 31 December 2022; and (ii) the aid 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 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.62970 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.