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Commission approves changes to state aid scheme to support companies by up to EUR 2.3 million due to the epidemic

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
20.12.2021 16.19
Press release

The European Commission decided on 20 December 2021 that the changes to the state aid scheme sought by Finland are compatible with the EU internal market. The state aid scheme is one of the instruments available to the Finnish authorities to support companies during the coronavirus crisis. The key changes relate to the maximum amount of company-specific aid and the duration of the programme. The maximum amount of aid will rise from EUR 1.8 to EUR 2.3 million, with the scheme remaining in force from the end of 2021 until 30 June 2022.

The objective of the scheme is to support companies suffering from sudden liquidity impairment or loss of liquidity due to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, it allows companies to continue and develop their activities, and maintain employment. The aid scheme enables the introduction of national business support measures in several administrative sectors in Finland. In addition to central government authorities, municipalities may also grant aid. 

The amendments adopted by the Commission will also help Finland implement the fifth application round for business cost support. Legislation concerning the fifth application round for business cost support is based on the more flexible rules of the state aid scheme.

Aid scheme based on temporary flexibility in EU state aid rules

The Finnish state aid scheme is based on the Commission’s temporary changes to the state aid rules adopted on 19 March 2020. The changes allow EU Member States to use the full flexibility provided by the state aid rules to support the economy during the coronavirus epidemic. 

The Commission approved Finland’s original state aid scheme in April 2020. With the exception of the higher maximum amount of aid, the rules of the aid scheme will remain largely unchanged. For example, aid cannot be granted to medium-sized or large companies that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019, that is, before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. 

Support granted under the aid scheme may be combined with de minimis aid. De minimis aid refers to aid that may be granted to companies by various entities up to a maximum of EUR 200,000 over three fiscal years.

All aid granted under a Commission decision must be reported to the Commission afterwards. The Commission also requires transparency related to aid granted under the temporary framework if its amount exceeds EUR 100,000. Member States are required to make available online all relevant information on each individual form of aid granted under the aid scheme exceeding EUR 100,000, such as the beneficiary and the amount of the aid.

The amendments sought by Finland are based on the Commission’s Communication of 18 November 2021.  Based on the Communication, the temporary state aid rules have been extended until the end of June 2022 and the maximum amount of aid has been raised to EUR 2.3 million.

Inquiries: 
Olli Hyvärinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 396 3619
Elisa Fageström, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 535 2628
 

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