State aid: Commission approves €50 million Irish scheme to support beef sector affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €50 million Irish scheme to support the beef sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will be open to farmers and companies active in the beef sector in Ireland. The scheme aims at helping the beneficiaries address the liquidity shortages and difficulties they have suffered due to the market disturbance caused by coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Irish scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid does not exceed €100,000 per beneficiary as provided by the Temporary Framework for undertakings in the primary agricultural sector; and (ii) the scheme will run 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 measures 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.58387 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.