State aid: Commission approves prolongation and modification of Danish scheme to compensate damages caused by cancellation of public events due to coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has found to the prolongation and modification a previously approved scheme to compensate companies for damages caused by the cancellation of public events due to the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules. The existing scheme was approved on 12 March 2020 and enables Denmark to compensate operators for the losses suffered as a consequence of the cancellations or postponement the events. Denmark notified the following modifications to this scheme: (i) as a direct consequence of further temporary prohibitions of public events decided by the Danish Government in the public health interest, the duration of the measure is extended to cover events that should have taken place between 6 March and 31 August 2020 (previously, only events scheduled until 30 March 2020 could be compensated); (ii) the scheme will now be accessible to organizers of events with more than 350 participants (previously, beneficiaries were organisers of events with more than 1,000 participants); and (iii) the budget of the measure has increased from DKK 91 million (€12 million) to DKK 2,310 million (€310 million). The Commission found that the amended Danish aid scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. It also found that the amended measure is proportionate, as the foreseen compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage. The Commission concluded that the amended scheme is in line with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(2)(b) TFEU, as it will contribute to mitigate the negative consequences of coronavirus for Danish businesses, without unduly distorting competition in the Internal Market. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57209 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.