State aid: Commission approves prolongation of Danish scheme to compensate companies for damages still suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, the prolongation of a Danish scheme to compensate companies whose activities are still subject to restrictive measures implemented by the Danish Government to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The existing scheme was approved on 13 July 2020 under case number SA.57930 and was first amended on 13 November 2020 (SA.59055). The scheme enables Denmark to compensate companies that are still not allowed to carry out their activities and to compensate suppliers of goods and services for events that have been cancelled due to the necessary restrictive measures. Denmark notified the following further modifications to the scheme: (i) an extension of the duration of the scheme in relation to damages suffered  until 28 February 2021 (previously 3 January 2021); and (ii) the budget of the scheme is accordingly increased by approximately €47 million (DKK 350 million) per month for the period of the prolongation. The Commission assessed the scheme under Article 107(2)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or specific sectors (in the form of schemes) for the damage directly caused by exceptional circumstances, such as the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the amended Danish aid scheme will compensate damage that is directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures adopted by Danish authorities. 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 therefore concluded that the amended scheme is in line with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(2)(b) TFEU. More information on the 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.61044 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.