& nbsp & nbspΘεανώς Θειοπούλου & nbsp; & nbsp;
A temporary crisis framework, valid until 31 December 2022, was approved by the European Commission on Thursday, so that Member States can make use of the flexibility provided by state aid rules to support the economy as part of measures to address the consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Commission informed that the new framework would allow Member States to grant limited amounts of aid to companies affected by the current crisis or related sanctions and countermeasures, to ensure that there is still sufficient liquidity for companies, to compensate companies for the additional costs incurred due to the extremely high prices of gas and electricity. These types of aid measures will also be available for businesses that are classified as problematic, as they may face serious liquidity needs due to the current conditions that are manifesting after the coronavirus pandemic. Russian-controlled entities subject to sanctions will be excluded from the scope of the measures.
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For example, according to the Commission, if Member States want to minimize the impact of the sharp rise in the cost of production factors, they can immediately introduce lending schemes of up to € 400,000 per company affected by the crisis. The Commission is ready to work with Member States immediately to find immediate solutions to safeguard this important part of the economy, taking full advantage of the flexibility provided by State aid rules.
To deal with the disorder, the interim crisis framework provides for three types of aid:
– Limited aid amounts: States will be able to set up mechanisms to provide up to € 35,000 to crisis-affected companies operating in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and up to € 400,000 per company affected by the crisis in all other areas.
– Liquidity support in the form of government guarantees and subsidized loans: Member States will be able to provide subsidized government guarantees to ensure that banks continue to lend to all businesses affected by the current crisis, both public and private Subsidized interest rate loans.
– High energy hedging aid: This support can be provided in any form, including direct grants. The total aid per beneficiary may not exceed 30% of the eligible costs, with a maximum of EUR 2 million at a given time.
The interim framework, according to the Commission, includes a number of safeguards:
Proportional methodology: There should be a link between the amount of aid that can be granted to companies and the scale of their economic activity and exposure to financial effects of the crisis, taking into account their turnover and energy costs.
Eligibility requirements: These are companies for which the market for energy products corresponds to at least 3% of their production value.
Sustainability requirements: Member States are invited to consider, without discrimination, the introduction of environmental protection or security of supply requirements when granting aid for additional costs due to extremely high gas and electricity prices. The aid should therefore help businesses cope with the current crisis, while laying the groundwork for a sustainable recovery