State aid: Commission approves €300 million Italian direct grants scheme to support internationally active companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €300 million aid scheme to companies registered in Italy engaged in international activities and operations and whose activities have been particularly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The aid will take the form of direct grants. The aim of the scheme is to help these companies  counter the liquidity shortage notably resulting from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, thus ensuring the continuation of their activities. The measure will support eligible companies, but will not take the form of export aid contingent on export activities as it is not tied to concrete export contracts. On the contrary, it finances the general activity of the beneficiaries by facilitating their access to liquidity. The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid will not exceed the amount of €800 000 per undertaking and the scheme is limited in time until 31 December 2020. 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.57891 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved