Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

_Vestager_

Co-operators: Photographer: Lukasz Kobus European Union, 2020 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The outbreak of COVID-19 affects all of us and our goal today is to bring together all of Europe’s resources to tackle this unprecedented situation.

It is both lives and livelihoods that are at stake. Businesses all over Europe – and in particular smaller ones – are struggling with the effects of the actions that governments have had to take, to slow the spread of this virus. So, the European Commission will work quickly and decisively, to help governments use their resources to help citizens and businesses.

Our goal here is to make sure that businesses have the liquidity they need to keep operating, and to make sure the support reaches the companies that need it.

And support for businesses in one Member State must not undermine the unity that Europe needs, a unity that will take us through this crisis. We have to be able to rely on the European single market, to help our economy weather the outbreak, and bounce back strongly afterwards.

Many Member States are taking action. We’ll work closely and quickly with them to help them provide the support which the economy needs. And in a way that limits harm to the single market. As part of that, we will give advice and share templates of schemes that work well.

There are many ways governments can help, without needing state aid approvals.

They can give all businesses, throughout the economy, a breathing space to help them cope – providing wage subsidies, or suspending corporate tax payments or payments of VAT.

But we will need to do more – and the European rules on state aid enable governments to take effective action. To name just three examples on how to compensate for damages and provide liquidity to companies.

First, some sectors, like tourism, transport or hotels and restaurants, they are hit especially hard. So we’re working with governments to put in place schemes that compensate sectors for the damage they have suffered because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Wednesday, we received the first notification of state aid to tackle the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Danish government submitted its plans to compensate companies that had to cancel events with more than 1000 people. We signed off on those plans within 24 hours.

We will work just as fast with any other Member State that want to introduce schemes to compensate businesses for the damage, which COVID-19 outbreak causes. And of course, governments can also help individuals directly – this doesn’t need State aid approval. For instance, they might decide to reimburse people for tickets to cancelled events.

The second example is that our State aid rules enable governments to put in place schemes that give Small and medium-sized companies the urgent liquidity they need. Already, nine Member States have that sort of scheme in place – and we will work with others who’d like to do the same, or to increase the budgets of existing schemes.

My third example has to do with banks. Because our economy’s ability to weather such an unprecedented situation will also depend on banks, and their readiness to lend. And some governments may want to use banks as a channel for support to the economy – including to Small and medium-sized companies.

We will work with governments on this. Today, more than a decade after the financial crisis, European banks are stronger and more resilient. If need be in the coming weeks and months, we do have the rules in place to enable governments to ensure banks have adequate liquidity to lend to their customers.

The situation we’re dealing with is changing fast. There’s every possibility, a high risk, that the strains on our economies will grow. Governments may need to give state aid on a much larger scale. And our rules allow for wide-ranging support, throughout the economy, in Member States that are facing a serious disturbance to their economies.

As I already said on Tuesday in this pressroom, that’s the case in Italy. And the situation in more and more Member States is going in the same direction.

So we’re keeping a very close watch on the situation in all Member States, and staying in close contact with governments. And we are ready to respond as we did in 2008, at the time of the financial crisis. At that time, the Commission adopted a Temporary Framework, guiding Member States as to how to use state aid to help stabilise the European economy, while protecting the single market. And we’re now working on a new framework, so that we have it ready, if it becomes necessary.

What matters right now, is that we are prepared to move fast.

This is why we’ve put in place all the procedures we need, to deal with new state aid very fast. That includes a hotline, which is open seven days a week, for public authorities to raise questions, to ask for advice, to ask a template, in order to give aid to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The European Commission will continue to provide the necessary support to governments and citizens.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

An expert explains: the digital risks facing our children during COVID-19

Delhi Declaration: Countries agree to make ‘land degradation neutrality’ by 2030, a national target for action

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

EU approves close to €240 million to strengthen resilience in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees in light of the coronavirus pandemic

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

Stricter rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

Protecting citizens’ access to social security in case of no-deal Brexit

5 facts about the world’s most valuable company, Saudi Aramco

July was the hottest month ever – what does that actually mean?

Economic growth ‘exceeds expectations’ but trade tensions are rising: UN report

Tackling obesity would boost economic and social well-being

Parliament makes EU electricity market cleaner and more consumer-friendly

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

Mergers: Commission waives the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

Resiliency is the key to strong investments in a chaotic world

These countries are the most peaceful – in 3 charts

We must learn and change after Haiti sexual abuse scandal -Oxfam chief

4 bold new ways New York is going clean and green

State aid: Commission approves € 1.6 billion Polish scheme to compensate companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak and provide liquidity support

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

Tackling terrorism: MEPs approve tighter rules on homemade explosives

Syria’s Idlib ‘on the brink’ of a nightmare, humanitarian chiefs warn, launching global solidarity campaign

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

State aid: Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

FEATURE: Niger’s girls find sanctuary in fistula treatment centres

This app uses augmented reality to rewrite ‘herstory’

These 5 start-ups are shaping the future of Africa’s cities

Post the pandemic: keeping our worlds turning

Quelling antimicrobial resistance: a clinico-pharmacological exigency

EU shapes its ambitious strategy on India

What can be done to avoid the risk of being among the 7 million that will be killed by air pollution in 2020?

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

Commission launches consultation to seek views on Digital Services Act package

A Sting Exclusive: Paris Climate Change Summit, a defining moment for humanity, by Ulf Björnholm Head of UNEP Brussels

5 of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases

Dear China

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Bayer’s animal health division by Elanco, subject to conditions

UN General Assembly: Here are the 5 big summits to watch for

The Junior Enterprise concept, one of the best ways to develop practical skills

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

This Latin American country is keeping COVID-19 firmly under control. How?

How to keep a healthy mind in times of social isolation

Water scarcity is a growing problem across the Middle East. Is this how we solve it?

Could the pandemic usher in a golden age of cycling?

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

“There are many converging visions and interests between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from Brussels

A record number of people will need help worldwide during 2020: Global Humanitarian Overview

Dramatic funding shortages a ‘severe catastrophe’ for people of Gaza: UN Coordinator

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

Parliament calls on EU Commission to step up action against dangerous chemicals

This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax

This is how trees could help solve the climate crisis

3 ways to fight stress at work

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

Main results of EU Environment Council, 25/06/2018

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s