State aid: Commission approves €8.6 million Belgian scheme to support operators in the tourist accommodation sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €8.6 million Belgian scheme to support operators in the tourist accommodation sector in the Brussels-Capital region affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants and will consist of a fixed amount of minimum €12,500 and maximum €312,500 per beneficiary, depending on certain criteria, including the number of accommodations held by the beneficiary in the Brussels-Capital Region. The aim of the scheme is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures that the Belgian government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The Commission found that the Belgian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed the limits per beneficiary set in the Temporary Framework, and (ii) will be granted no later than 30 September 2021 (i.e. before 31 December 2021, as provided by the Temporary Framework). 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.63215 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website.