comunidad europea

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The European Commission is giving absolute priority to State aid decisions adopted in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, just after we published information about the decisions that the Commission had taken to date, it approved two new measures notified by Spain.

According to the system established under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), public aid granted to specific companies or production must be authorized by the European Commission, unless exempted as clearly established in article 107.2 of the TFEU and in Regulation 651/2014. If authorization from the Commission is required, it must fall within the scope of article 107.3 of the TFEU, including, inter alia, the need to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.

The Spanish Government has implemented two public guarantee systems that aim to facilitate (by reducing the associated risks) loans and refinancing transactions in favour of those affected by the consequences of COVID-19, i.e., SMEs and freelance workers on the one hand, and large companies on the other. The final goal of these measures is to ensure the necessary liquidity to protect jobs and maintain activity during the health crisis.

The Commission held that both measures, which are backed by a €20 billion budget, comply with the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current COVID-19 outbreak, adopted on March 19. Specifically, these measures are limited in time and scope, and they are accompanied by certain safeguards so that aid effectively benefits those for whom it has been earmarked.

The  Temporary Framework, which will be effective, in principle, until December 2020, refers to five types of public aid: i) direct subsidies, tax advantages and repayable advances; ii) State guarantees for loans granted by banks to businesses; iii) subsidized public loans to businesses; iv) safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy; and v) short-term export credit insurance. This Temporary Framework comes on top of other measures available to Member States that are not within the scope of State aid regulations such as general measures applied across all businesses or sectors.

The European Commission’s press release is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/es/ip_20_520

Authors: Irene Moreno-Tapia, Andrew Ward

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Socio

59 artículos

Es socio del Grupo de Competencia y Derecho de la UE de la Firma en Madrid. Previamente, trabajó en Londres, como barrister, y en Bruselas, como asociado en uno de los más reconocidos despachos a nivel mundial. Está especializado en derecho de defensa de la competencia comunitario y español. Cuenta con una gran experiencia en control de concentraciones (notificaciones de compraventa de empresas, fusiones y acuerdos de joint venture), en el asesoramiento relacionado con investigaciones de las autoridades de defensa de la competencia y la gestión de riesgos de este tipo (incluyendo el diseño, la planificación y la ejecución de auditorías y códigos de cumplimiento, así como formación de empleados y directivos) así como en ayudas de estado y otras cuestiones de derecho comunitario.

andrew.ward@cuatrecasas.com

Socia

61 artículos

Especialista en acuerdos de distribución y abusos de posición dominante, asesora regularmente a importantes multinacionales y fondos de inversión en materia de control de concentraciones, tanto a nivel español como comunitario, asumiendo su representación ante las instancias administrativas. Ha representado y asesorado con éxito a numerosos clientes ante las autoridades españolas en materia de defensa de la competencia, en los dos ámbitos administrativo y contencioso (acuerdos, abusos, concentraciones, ayudas públicas).

irene.moreno@cuatrecasas.com