COVID-19: €200m Irish State aid scheme approved by the European Commission
The European Commission has found a €200m Irish scheme (the Irish Scheme) to support companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to be in conformity with the EU's State aid rules. This is consistent with a number of other recent State aid notifications by other Member States (such as Germany, France, UK and Spain) to the European Commission in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Background to the Commission's approval of the Irish scheme
On 19 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a temporary framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak (the Temporary Framework). You can read our earlier briefing on the State aid rules and the adoption of the Temporary Framework here.
The Irish Scheme
The European Commission is moving quickly to approve aid notified under the Temporary Framework. On Thursday 26 March 2020, Ireland notified the Irish Scheme and the European Commission approved it on 30 March 2020 (i.e. within four calendar days of notification). The maximum amount of aid available to each beneficiary under the Irish Scheme complies with the Temporary Framework limit of €800,000 per business.
Support available under the Irish Scheme takes the form of repayable advances and will be accessible to companies that:
- experience or expect to experience a decline in turnover of at least 15% compared to their revenue before the coronavirus outbreak in Ireland
- employ 10 or more full time employees
- are in certain manufacturing sectors and/or internationally traded sectors.
The Irish Scheme's €200m fund will:
- be administered by Enterprise Ireland
- operate in addition to the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme and supports available from banks and other financial providers
The public version of the European Commission decision has not yet been published. We will provide further updates as additional details of the Irish Scheme become available.
For more information on this topic please contact any member of A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement team.
Date published: 1 April 2020