State aid: Commission approves €90 million Slovak scheme to support operators in tourism sector in context of coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €90 million Slovak scheme to support operators active in the tourism sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support, which will take form of direct grants, aims at mitigating the impact on the beneficiaries of the restrictive measures that the Slovak government had to implement to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The aid will compensate tourism operators for part of their uncovered fixed costs and will be granted to enterprises that suffered a decrease in turnover of at least 40% for the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2021, or part of this period, compared to the same period in 2019. The amount of aid under the measure will not exceed 10% of the nominal decrease in net turnover. The Commission found that the Slovak scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed 70% of the uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises, where it will not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs; (ii) will not exceed €10 million per beneficiary; and (iii) 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.62256 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website.