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

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre

The European Commission has found the prolongation of an existing Danish 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 scheme was originally approved on 12 March 2020 under case number SA.56685. The Commission approved amendments to the scheme on 18 May (SA.57209) and 30 November 2020 (SA.59667). The scheme enables Denmark to compensate organisers of events for the losses suffered due to the restrictive measures that the Danish government had to implement to limit the spread of coronavirus, which led to the cancellation, postponement or significant modification of planned events. Denmark notified the following further modifications to the scheme: (i) an extension of the period in relation to which the aid may be granted until 28 February 2021 (previously 3 January 2021); and (ii) an increase in the budget of the measure from €372 million (DKK 2.8 billion) to €425 million (DKK 3.2 billion). The increase in the budget results from the prolongation of the scheme. 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 damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures necessary to limit its spread. 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.61056 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.