Commission approves Finland’s state aid scheme to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak
In its decision on 24 April 2020 the European Commission concluded that Finland’s state aid scheme associated with the coronavirus outbreak is compatible with the EU internal market. The aid scheme enables the introduction of national support measures in several administrative sectors in Finland. According to the Commission decision, the support may not exceed EUR 800,000 per company.
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 facilitates the implementation of the Government’s policies on business financing. Support may be given in the form of direct grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments, as well as repayable advances, State guarantees and loans, and equity injections. Aid cannot be granted to undertakings that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019, or before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. Aid must be granted no later than on 31 December 2020.
Aid granted under the scheme approved by the Commission may be combined with de minimis aid. In other words, aid may be granted in addition to de minimis aid. The maximum de minimis aid that may be granted to companies is EUR 200,000 over three fiscal years.
In addition to central government authorities, aid may be granted by local authorities. For example, Business Finland and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) will introduce support measures permitted by the aid scheme in addition to their standard aid instruments.
Aid scheme based on temporary flexibility in EU State aid rules
The aid scheme is based on a Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, which allows EU Member States to use the full flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
All aid granted under a Commission decision must be reported to the Commission afterwards. The Commission demands full transparency in support measures adopted under the Temporary Framework. Member States are required to make available online all relevant information on each individual form of aid granted under the aid scheme, such as the beneficiary and the amount of the aid.
Olli Hyvärinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 396 3619
Tanja Müller, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 388 6071