State aid: EU Commission approves guarantee scheme of up to €3 billion to support the Flemish economy in coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a Belgian scheme of up to €3 billion, financed by the Flemish region, to support companies 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.

Belgium notified to the Commission a guarantee scheme for working capital and investment loans, to support companies active in the Flemish region and affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure aims at limiting the risk associated with issuing or restructuring loans to those companies that are most severely affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, ensuring the continuation of activities.

The Commission found that the measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. 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.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The coronavirus outbreak is having a severe impact on our economy. The scheme approved today supports companies in the Flemish Region through public guarantees on loans. This will help businesses cover immediate liquidity needs and continue their activities in these difficult times.”

Arianna Podesta – Giulia Astuti – Maria Tsoni –