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State aid: EU Commission approves €4 million Croatian direct grant scheme to support fishery and aquaculture sector in coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved an HRK 30 million (approximately €4 million) Croatian scheme to support the fishery and aquaculture sector in Croatia in the context of 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.

The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, aims at ensuring that companies active in the sector, which are experiencing cash difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak, have liquidity to maintain their activities during and after the outbreak.

The scheme, which will apply to the whole territory of Croatia (mainland and islands), will be open to companies of all sizes active in the fishery and aquaculture sector.

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 measure under EU State aid rules.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €4 million Croatian scheme will enable Croatia to support companies active in the fishery and aquaculture sector, which are currently experiencing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It will help these companies cover their immediate liquidity needs, thus ensuring they can continue their crucial activities during these difficult times. We continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a coordinated and effective way, in line with EU rules.”

Arianna Podesta –