State aid: Commission approves €935 million Romanian scheme to support SMEs and certain large enterprises affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €935 million (RON 4.521 billion) Romanian scheme to support companies 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 for working capital and productive investments, and will be co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The measure will be accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in specific sectors and certain large companies related to the eligible SMEs, which have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of the scheme is to provide liquidity to these companies, thus enabling them to continue their activities, start investments and maintain employment. The Commission found that the Romanian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the direct grants will not exceed €100,000 per company active in the primary agricultural sector, €120,000 per company active in the fishery or aquaculture sectors, and €800,000 per company active in all other sectors; 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 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.58166 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.