State aid: Commission approves modification and prolongation of Danish scheme to compensate companies particularly affected by the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has found Denmark’s plans to prolong and modify a previously approved scheme to compensate companies particularly affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(2)(b) TFEU. The existing scheme was approved on 8 April 2020. Denmark notified the following modifications to this scheme: (i) companies with a proven decline in revenues of more than 35% because of the coronavirus outbreak in the period from 9 March to 9 June 2020 are now eligible to receive support (instead of a revenue decline of more than 40% under the previously approved measure); (ii) the scheme will now be accessible also to public undertakings; (iii) the maximum aid amount per company is increased from €8 million to €15 million; and (iv) the method to assess potential overcompensation for companies that were already loss making in 2019 is adjusted to take into account the situation of structurally profitable companies. In particular, this concerns companies, which were loss making in 2019 due to special circumstances, but have generally been profitable in recent years. Furthermore, the duration of the scheme is extended until 8 July 2020 and the budget is increased by €3 billion, bringing the total budget of the measure to €8.4 billion. Finally, the Danish authorities committed to a reinforced ex post control based on net losses to calculate the actual damage and avoid overcompensation. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(2)(b) TFEU, which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures by Member States to compensate companies for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences such as the coronavirus outbreak. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57151 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website.