State aid: Commission approves modified €1.1 billion Italian scheme to support internationally active companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak | EU Commission Press

The European Commission has found the modification of the existing Italian direct grants scheme to support internationally active companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with the Temporary Framework. The original scheme was approved by the Commission on 31 July 2020 under case number SA.57891. On 10 December 2020 the Commission approved the prolongation of the scheme until 30 June 2021 (SA.59655). Italy notified an increase in the estimated total budget of the scheme by €828 million, which means an increase in total budget from €300 million to €1.128 million. Similar to the original scheme, the modified scheme will continue to support eligible companies by facilitating their access to liquidity, and will not take the form of export aid contingent on export activities as it is not tied to concrete export contracts. The Commission concluded that the scheme, as modified, remains 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. In particular, the support will continue not to exceed €800,000 per company, and the scheme is limited in time until 30 June 2021. 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 numbers SA.60402 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website.