State aid: Commission approves €500 million Romanian scheme to support companies active in tourism, accommodation and food services as well as travel agencies affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €500 million (approximately RON 2.437 billion) Romanian scheme to support companies active in tourism, accommodation and food services, as well as travel agencies in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will cover up to 20% of the losses of revenues (or, for certain travel agencies applying a special regime, the volume of invoices issued for tourist services, including the margin) incurred by the beneficiary between 1 January and 21 December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The measure aims at helping the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs and continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Romanian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per beneficiary as provided by the Temporary Framework, 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 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.60650 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.