State aid: Commission approves €800 million Romanian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a RON 4 billion (approximately €800 million) Romanian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of subsidised loans and State guarantees on loans. The measures will be managed by the development bank arm of Export Import Bank of Romania (“EximBank”), acting on behalf of the Romanian State and in full independence of the commercial activities of EximBank. The scheme will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a turnover of above RON 20 million (approximately €4 million) in 2019 and to large companies. The measures aim at enhancing access to financing for these companies, thus enabling them to continue their activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Romanian measures are in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, for both measures (i) the maturity of the loans is limited to six years, (ii) the amount of the loans corresponds to the level foreseen in the Temporary Framework with regard to the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries, (iii) the loans relate to investment and working capital needs, and (iv) the Romanian authorities have put in place safeguards to ensure that the aid is effectively passed onto the final beneficiaries, for instance by requiring financing banks to maintain or improve the conditions of the loans eligible to the guarantee. The Commission concluded that the measures are 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.57408 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.