On 23 March, the Commission adopted a Temporary Crisis Framework to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and thus enable Member States to make greater use of the flexibility provided by the State aid rules.
The various sanctions against Russia also have repercussions for the Union’s economy. This Framework, which complements the existing State aid instruments, should therefore make it possible to support the sectors and companies affected by this crisis.
This new Framework, in force until 31 December 2022, will enable Member States to introduce three types of measures :
- Grants for a limited amount of aid (maximum EUR 35.000 for enterprises in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and up to EUR 400.000 for other sectors) for companies impacted by this crisis or related sanctions, whether or not this aid is linked to rising energy prices ;
- Liquidity measures through public guarantees and public and private loans with subsidised interest rates and
- Compensations for the additional costs related to the particularly sharp increase in gas and electricity prices, all the more in favour of large energy consumers. In general, the amount of aid per beneficiary may not exceed 30 % of the eligible costs and a ceiling of EUR 2 million.
These measures will also be accessible to companies in difficulty with the exclusion of entities controlled by Russia.
This new Temporary Framework provides certain safeguards to protect the level playing field in the Union market. First, a proportional methodology will be applied so that there is a link between the aid granted and the impact of the crisis on the economic activities of the beneficiaries. Secondly, in terms of eligibility, the concept of large energy consumers will have to be read in the light of the Energy Taxation Directive. Finally, Member States are invited to set requirements for the protection of the environment or security of supply when granting aid to support the additional costs related to energy prices.