State aid: Commission approves €770 million Bulgarian employment aid scheme for preserving jobs in sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak
Daily News 15 / 04 / 2020
Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service
The European Commission has approved a BGN 1.5 billion (approximately €770 million) Bulgarian wage subsidies support scheme for preserving employment in the sectors most affected by the confinement measures put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020. Bulgaria notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a wage subsidy aid scheme that would allow the Bulgarian authorities to finance 60% of the wage costs of undertakings that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, would otherwise lay off personnel. The measure is restricted to undertakings active in the sectors most affected by the current public health crisis, such as retail, tourism, passenger transport, culture, and others. The Commission found that the scheme is in line with the Temporary Framework. The Commission therefore concluded that this measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “In these difficult times, preserving employment in sectors that are particularly exposed to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak is of utmost importance. It matters to the livelihoods of many workers and it will allow the European economy to bounce back strongly after the crisis. The Bulgarian scheme we approved will help thousands of workers to keep their jobs and undertakings to resume their activities as soon as the circumstances allow it. We work with Member States to ensure that this is done in line with the EU rules.” The full press release is available online.