State aid in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Temporary Framework 2020

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Series Details 2021/03, Number 3
Publication Date 2021
ISSN 1028-3625
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The present working paper concerns a chapter on the application of the EU State aid rules in the context of the COVID 19 outbreak, which is to be published in Hancher et al ‘EU State Aids’, 6th edition, forthcoming in 2021. The severe economic crisis accompanying the public health crisis of the COVID-19 outbreak led to an unprecedented wave of State aid cases, which the Commission had to assess in record time.

First, the paper analyses the Temporary Framework, a set of guidelines that the Commission announced for the assessment of compatibility of State aid in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Temporary Framework concerns mainly aid to remedy the serious disturbance in the economy of Member States caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Second, the paper elaborates on cases of aid that also had such purpose but did not fall within the scope of the Temporary Framework, and therefore they were assessed directly under the Treaty. Third, the paper analyses cases of aid to compensate undertakings for damage directly caused by an exceptional occurrence such as the COVID-19 outbreak. Since such aid may cover only damage directly caused by the outbreak, it has a different scope of application than aid under the Temporary Framework, which addresses more generally the negative economic consequences of the outbreak. Finally, the paper addresses certain amendments to existing (at the moment that COVID-19 broke out) regulations and guidelines, which were adjusted in view of that outbreak.

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