The European Commission has approved a €20 million Estonian scheme to support companies in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, adopted by the Commission on 9 March 2023 to support measures in sectors which are key to accelerate the green transition and reduce fuel dependencies. The new Framework amends and prolongs in part the Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted on 23 March 2022 to enable member states to support the economy in the context of the current geopolitical crisis, already amended on 20 July 2022 and on 28 October 2022.
Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. The purpose of the scheme is to support companies to alleviate their dependency to fossil fuels that are affected by the current crisis. The scheme will be open to companies of all sizes and sectors, with some exceptions such as the agriculture, food and beverage sectors that benefit from earlier schemes (SA.103936 and SA.108671). The individual aid amount will be calculated based on a percentage of the eligible costs, depending on the size of the company, up to €200,000 for small companies and up to €500,000 for medium and large ones.
The Commission found that the Estonian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €300,000 per company active in the processing of fisheries and aquaculture, and €2 million per company active in all other eligible sectors; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2023. The Commission concluded that the scheme is 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 Crisis and Transition Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU state aid rules.
More information on the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine and foster the transition towards a net-zero economy can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the number SA.109165 in the state aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
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