State aid: Commission approves €5 million Latvian scheme to support organisers of cultural events affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €5 million Latvian scheme to support organisers of cultural events who had to cancel announced public cultural events due to the restrictive measures that the Latvian government had to implement to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of direct grants. Beneficiaries will receive up to 80% of the total amount of ticket money reimbursed to spectators and ticket reversal costs, such as bank or ticket sales network commission fees. The purpose of the measure is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that these companies are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Latvian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €800,000 per company; and (ii) the aid will be granted at latest by 30 June 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 of 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.60528 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.