The European Commission approved 218€ million (426 BGN million) for a Bulgarian scheme. It was approved under the state aid Temporary crisis Framework adopted by the Commission on March 23, 2022, and amended on July 20, 2022. The EC said this Bulgarian scheme was approved to support certain agricultural producers under the circumstances of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Bulgarian estimate: According to the Bulgarian estimate, the scheme will open micro, small and medium size companies that produce agricultural goods, which are badly affected by the increased price of fertilizers, electricity and other input costs raised due to the current geopolitical crises.
Under this scheme, the eligible beneficiaries will receive an amount of aid through direct grants. Each beneficiary will get the amount on the basis of the number of animals and hectares of agricultural land.
According to the EU Commission, the Bulgarian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework.
(i) Each beneficiary will not exceed €62,000
(ii) The beneficiary amount will not be granted later than December 31 2022.
After a brief study in article 107(3), the commission concludes that the Bulgarian scheme is essential, suitable, and an equivalent remedy to the severe crisis in the economy of a member state.
Background: The temporary crisis aid was embraced on March 23 2022, to support the economy in the circumstances of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It was amended on July 20 2022, to implement the winter preparedness package with the REpowerEU objectives.
The Temporary Crisis Framework consists of the following types of aid, which State members can grant:
- Limited aid: The companies affected by the current crisis or the subsequent sanctions will get a fixed amount of 62000€ and 75,000€ in agriculture.
- To repay for high energy prices: The aid can be granted in any form and partially refund companies for additional costs due to exceptional gas and electricity price increases. The beneficiary cannot exceed 30% of the eligible costs and, to stimulate energy saving – should relate to no more than 70% of its gas and electricity consumption during the same period of the previous year, up to a maximum of €2 million at any given point in time.
- Comparable methodology: a link is necessary between the amount of aid given to businesses and to scale of their economic activity to exposure to the economic effects of the crisis.
- Sustainability requirements, Member States, are invited to set up requirements related to environmental protection and security of supply when granting aid for additional costs due to unexpected high gas and electricity prices.