On 2 July 2020, the European Commission (the “Commission”) announced the prolongation of several existing State aid rules which would have otherwise expired at the end of 2020, with the purpose of mitigating the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on companies. In particular:
- The following texts are prolonged by one year (i.e., until 2021): (i) Guidelines on regional State aid for 2014-2020; (ii) Guidelines on State aid to promote risk finance investments; (iii) Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy; (iv) Communi‐ cation on the execution of important projects of common European interest; (v) Communication on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to short-term export-credit insurance.
- The following texts are prolonged by three years (i.e., until 2023): (i) General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER); (ii) the De minimis Regulation 1407/2013; (iii) Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty.
In addition, the Commission has also decided to make some targeted adjustments to the rules which are being prolonged, as well as to the Framework for State aid for research and development and innovation (which has no expiry date). Moreover, in the context of the Commission’s recent proposal to prolong by three years (beyond the current expiry date of 31 December 2020) the De minimis Regulation 360/2012 concerning undertakings providing services of general economic interest, the Commission has now also proposed to introduce an adjustment to allow undertakings that got into difficulty because of the coronavirus outbreak to remain eligible for this type of aid for a limited period of time.