The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to Norwegian liquidity support scheme for tourism sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves amendments to Norwegian liquidity support scheme for tourism sector*

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a prolongation of a liquidity support scheme to Norway’s tourism sector. The scheme is also amended to allow for increased support and to prioritise green and digital projects.

The scheme was first approved on 6 July 2020, when ESA found the scheme compatible with EEA rules, and in line with the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak. The scheme has since been amended several times.

On 3 December 2020, the scheme was prolonged until 30 June 2021 and the budget was increased from NOK 250 million (EUR 23.1m) to NOK 550m (EUR 46.2m). On 15 February 2021, ESA approved a further budget increase of NOK 300m (EUR 30m).

Today, ESA approves the following:

  • A prolongation of the scheme until 31 December 2021.
  • An increase in coverage of certain project implementation costs from 20% to 50%.
  • An increase in the maximum aid amount per company from NOK 8 million (EUR 800 000) to NOK 18 m (EUR 1.8m).

Moreover, green and digital projects can now be given priority in the processing of applications. The amendments, including the prolongation, allow for a budget increase of NOK 700m (EUR 70m) with the scheme’s total budget reaching NOK 1.55 billion (EUR 155m).

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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EFTA Surveillance Authority, The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves amendments to Norwegian liquidity support scheme for tourism sector amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, 12 May 2021, e-Competitions May 2021, Art. N° 100916

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