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State aid: EU Commission approves €12 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the agricultural sector affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €12 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the agricultural sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020 and 8 May 2020. The support will take the form of direct grants and will be accessible to companies of all sizes, including the self-employed, active in the agriculture sector.

Support under the Common Agricultural Policy will be paid approximately 4 months before the envisaged date. The purpose of the scheme is to further address the liquidity needs of farmers and to help them continue their activities by compensating them for the interests that they have to pay on this anticipation of the payment.

The measure is expected to benefit over 1,000 enterprises. The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid does not exceed €100,000 per company. The Commission concluded that the measure 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 Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measures 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.

https://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/what_is_new/covid_19.html

Arianna Podesta –