The European Commission has given its approval for a €12m state aid programme put forward by Denmark, to compensate damages caused by cancellations of large public events due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Danish aid scheme has the EU go-ahead to compensate organisers for the damage suffered due to the cancellation of events with more than 1,000 participants due to the Covid-19. The Commission ruled the application was in line with EU State aid rules.
This is the first and only State aid measure notified by a Member State to the Commission in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak so far. The Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules within 24 hours of receiving the notification from Denmark and said it was ready to support other national support measures to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus “in a timely manner, in line with EU rules”.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of EU competition policy, said: “With the scheme, Denmark will compensate the organisers of events cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak for the losses suffered.”
Denmark had notified the Commission of its intention to set up the DKK 91 million (€12m) aid scheme under which operators would be entitled to be compensated for the losses suffered as a consequence of the cancellations or postponment the events, for which, for example, tickets were already sold.
The Commission assessed the measure 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 (in the form of schemes) for the damages directly caused by exceptional occurrences.
The Commission considers that the Covid-19 outbreak qualifies as an exceptional occurrence, as it is an extraordinary, unforeseeable event having a significant economic impact.
In allowing the scheme to proceed the Commission also found that the measure “is proportionate as the foreseen compensation does not exceed what is necessary to make good the damage”.
Full EU Commission statement here.