EU Approves €500 million Finnish Scheme to Aid Companies Affected by War in Ukraine
The European Commission has approved a €500 million scheme to support companies active in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, which recognises that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.
The Commission adopted the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework to enable Member States to use the flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The €500 million scheme will be open to companies of all sizes and active in all sectors affected by the current geopolitical crisis and the related sanctions, with the exception of the financial, primary agricultural, aquaculture and fisheries sectors.
The Temporary Crisis Framework complements the various possibilities for Member States to design measures in line with existing EU State aid rules. For example, EU State aid rules enable Member States to help companies cope with liquidity shortages and needing urgent rescue aid. Furthermore, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union enables Member States to compensate companies for the damage directly caused by an exceptional occurrence, such as those caused by the current crisis.
EU Commissioner and Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, “With this up to €500 million scheme, Finland will support companies across almost all sectors affected by the current crisis and the related sanctions. This is an important step to mitigate the economic impact of Putin’s war against Ukraine. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”
The Temporary Crisis Framework will be in place until 31 December 2022. With a view to ensuring legal certainty, the Commission will assess before that date if it needs to be extended. Moreover, during its period of application, the Commission will keep the content and scope of the Framework under review in the light of developments regarding the energy markets, other input markets and the general economic situation.
On 19 March 2020, the Commission adopted a Temporary Framework in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The COVID Temporary Framework was amended on 3 April, 8 May, 29 June, 13 October 2020, 28 January and 18 November 2021.