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State aid: EU Commission approves €88 million Hungarian aid scheme supporting researchers and developers in all sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a HUF 31.5 billion (approximately €88 million) Hungarian wage subsidies support scheme for researchers and developers active in all sectors 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.Hungary notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a wage subsidy measure that would allow the Hungarian authorities to finance the wage costs of undertakings that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, would otherwise lay off researchers and developers.

The measure is accessible to companies of all sizes and especially to those that are research and innovation intensive. The Commission found that the scheme notified by Hungary is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

It 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.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The Hungarian scheme approved will help researchers and companies continue their research and development activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

Preserving employment in innovative sectors is of utmost importance for the European economy to bounce back strongly after the crisis, and we are working with Member States to ensure that this is done in line with the EU rules.”

Arianna Podesta –