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State aid: Commission approves €160 million Dutch scheme to compensate companies that offer special transport services which suffered due to coronavirus outbreak  

03/07/2020 | Economia |  Daily News 30 / 06 / 2020

Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service  


The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a €160 million Dutch scheme to compensate companies offering special transport services for specific groups such as children and elderly persons who are not able to take regular public transport to go to school or to certain social activities. In the Netherlands these special transport services have been severely affected by the government’s coronavirus related measures such as the closure of schools, social distancing rules and restrictions on larger gatherings. Because of the government measures, companies offering special transport services faced and continue to face a huge decline in revenue, whilst continuing to incur costs such as wages, lease commitments for vehicles, commitments to banks and overhead costs. Under the scheme, the transport companies will be entitled to compensation in the form of direct grants for a maximum of 80% of the revenues lost due to cancellations. The compensation can be granted until 31 December 2020 for damages suffered between 15 March and 30 June 2020. The Netherlands will ensure that no individual transport operator receives more in compensation than it suffered in damages, and no operator will be allowed to earn a profit due to the compensation granted under the scheme. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme is in line with the conditions under Article 107(2)(b)  of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which enables the Commission to approve State aid measures granted by Member States to compensate specific companies or specific sectors for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences, such as the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Dutch aid scheme will compensate damages that are directly linked to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.57554 in the State aid case register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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