Today, the European Commission has sent to Member States for consultation a draft proposal for a State aid Temporary Crisis Framework to support the EU economy in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The draft proposal is based on Article 107(3)(b) TFEU, which allows aid to be granted to remedy a serious disturbance across the EU economy.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Our full support goes to the Ukrainians. They need it being in war. Putin's war on Ukraine will also effect the EU economy now and in the months to come. So we are ready to use the full flexibility of our State aid toolbox to enable Member States to support companies and sectors severely impacted. Together with Member States, we are exploring options to provide the necessary and proportionate support. And at the same time protecting the level playing field in the European single market.”
The Commission is consulting Member States to seek their views on a draft State aid Temporary Crisis Framework to assess which measures are considered necessary to tackle the current crisis. These could complement the existing possibility, under Article 107(2)(b) TFEU, for Member States to mitigate damage directly caused by the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, including certain direct effects of the economic sanctions or other restrictive measures taken in response.
In particular, the draft proposal under consultation could allow Member States to grant:
- Temporary liquidity support to all companies affected by the current crisis. This support could take the form of guarantees and subsidised loans.
- Aid for additional costs due to exceptionally high gas and electricity prices. This support could be granted in any form, including limited grants, to partially compensate companies, in particular intensive energy users, for energy price increases.
Both types of measures would be available also to companies that qualify as being in difficulty as they may face acute liquidity needs due to the current circumstances. Sanctioned and Russian-controlled entities would be excluded from the scope of these measures.
The Commission is also posing a number of general and more specific questions to Member States, e.g. as regards aid intensities and ceilings, the definition of energy intensive users, whether green conditionality should be attached to aid to such users, whether other input costs subject to similar price increases as gas and electricity should be considered, and whether certain sectors, such as agriculture, would require other measures.
Member States now have the possibility to comment on the Commission's draft proposal and to respond to these questions. The Commission will rapidly assess the responses in order to finalise its position on a new Temporary Framework, and will assess support measures notified by the Member States in the context of the current crisis as a matter of priority.
- Publication date
- 10 March 2022
- Representation in Malta