The European Commission has given the green light for the two schemes worth €45 million announced earlier this week by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
The schemes in question include the 2021 Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme – Suckler (BEEP-S) scheme, worth €40 million, and the €5 million Dairy Beef Calf Measure, which were both unveiled in a staggered fashion on Tuesday (March 16) under the “Beef Sector Efficiency Pilot” for 2021.
In a statement today (Friday, March 19), a spokesperson for the European Commission said:
“The European Commission approved a €45 million Irish scheme to support the beef sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework.
The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will be open to farmers and companies active in the beef sector in Ireland. The aim of the scheme is to address the liquidity needs of the beneficiaries and to help them continue their activities during and after the outbreak.
Noting that the European Commission found that the Irish scheme is “in line with the condition”s of the Temporary Framework, it was added:
“In particular, (i) the aid does not exceed €225,000 per beneficiary as provided by the Temporary Framework for undertakings in the primary agricultural sector and (ii) the scheme will run until December 31, 2021.”
The spokesperson said the commission concluded that the measure is “necessary, appropriate and proportionate” to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with conditions.
“On this basis, the commission approved the measures under EU state aid rules,” the representative concluded.