The European Commission has approved a €50 million Greek scheme to support the livestock sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the commission which recognises that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.
Executive vice-president, Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €50 million scheme will enable Greece to support livestock breeders affected by the input costs increase caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the related sanctions.
“We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with member states to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the single market.”
Under this measure in Greece, the aid will take the form of direct grants.
The measure will be open to operators active in the livestock sector affected by the input costs increase caused by the current geopolitical crisis.
The eligible beneficiaries will be entitled to receive an aid amount equal to 2% of their VAT turnover in 2021 or 2% of their gross revenues in 2020, depending on whether they were subject or not to VAT in 2021.
The commission found that the Greek scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, the aid will not exceed €35,000/beneficiary and will be granted no later than December 31.
The commission concluded that the Greek scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state.
On March 23, the EU Commission adopted the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework to enable member states to use the flexibility foreseen under state aid rules to support the economy in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Temporary Crisis Framework provides for the following types of aid, which can be granted by member states:
- Limited amounts of aid, in any form, of up to €35,000 for companies affected by the crisis active in the agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture sectors and of up to €400,000 for companies affected by the crisis active in all other sectors;
- Liquidity support in the form of state guarantees and subsidised loans;
- Aid to compensate for high energy prices: The aid, which can be granted in any form, will partially compensate companies, in particular intensive energy users, for additional costs due to exceptional gas and electricity price increases.
Sanctioned Russian-controlled entities will be excluded from the scope of these measures.
The approval for the Greek scheme follows similar state aid injections for the agricultural sector in other countries such as Italy, Spain and Romania.