State aid: Commission approves €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations and their related entities affected by the coronavirus outbreak
The European Commission has approved a €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations (NPOs) and their related entities in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:
“In Austria there is a longstanding tradition and a wide variety of non-profit organisations ranging from small voluntary fire brigades to large alpine associations, from music orchestras to the Austrian Red Cross with over 1 million members. Altogether almost half of the Austrian population is a member of at least one of these organisations. This scheme will support the non-profit sector, which is critical to the Austrian community and culture.”
The Austrian support measure
Austria notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a scheme with an overall budget of €665 million to support NPOs active in Austria. The support will be granted by a fund established by the Austrian Government for this specific purpose and will be available to all types and sizes of NPOs, with some exceptions (e.g. financial sector and political parties).
Public events are an important source of funding for NPOs in Austria. The necessary emergency measures put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, including the prohibition of public events, have affected the NPOs' access to funding and endangered their operations. Under the scheme, aid will take the form of direct grants to non-profit organisations and their related entities, with the aim of providing the liquidity support necessary to preserve their activities, which have been severely damaged by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Commission found that the Austrian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will be limited to €100,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €120,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector and €800 000 per company active in other sectors and (ii) aid will be granted on 31 December 2020 at the latest.
Furthermore, NPOs can have economic activities, non-economic activities, or both types of activities. State aid rules apply only where the beneficiary of the measure is an undertaking that is engaged in economic activities. The scheme provides that an NPO with both economic and non-economic activities must have separated accounts in place to ensure that the maximum aid amount for the support of the economic activities is not exceeded.
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 Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.
On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules.
Latest News from
COVID-19: Member states need to harmonise health assessments and measures18/09/2020 16:33:00
Common definitions, health criteria and methodologies are key to effectively fighting the ongoing pandemic and its economic consequences in the EU, MEPs say.
Poland: Council has to “finally act” to protect minorities and the rule of law18/09/2020 15:25:00
Disrespect for judicial independence and the rights of LGBTI persons point to “overwhelming evidence” of breaches of EU values, Parliament says.
COVID-19 vaccines: Public hearing in European Parliament18/09/2020 14:33:00
Addressing the challenges linked to securing access to safe COVID-19 vaccines will be the main topic of an online hearing on 22 September from 09.00-12.00 in the European Parliament.
Parliament requests more support for regions to make energy transition a success18/09/2020 13:25:00
MEPs are ready to start negotiations with the Council on setting up the Just Transition Fund to mitigate the social impact of greening the economy.
European Green Deal Call: €1 billion investment to boost the green and digital transition18/09/2020 12:38:00
The European Commission yesterday decided to launch a €1 billion call for research and innovation projects that respond to the climate crisis and help protect Europe's unique ecosystems and biodiversity.
EU arms exports: need for more control and transparency18/09/2020 11:33:00
EU citizens have to be better informed about their governments’ strategic choices on an issue that directly affects their security, warn MEPs.
COVID-19: EU must step up efforts to tackle medicine shortages18/09/2020 10:38:00
Parliament calls for the EU to be more self-sufficient when it comes to medicines and medical equipment so that affordable treatments are available at any time.
Parliament says shipping industry must contribute to climate neutrality18/09/2020 09:25:00
To decarbonise maritime transport, Parliament voted to include CO2 emissions from the sector in the EU Emissions Trading System.
Vote on Own Resources: MEPs clear way for COVID-19 recovery plan17/09/2020 16:33:00
MEPs accelerate the procedure that will enable the EU to borrow €750 billion for the “Next Generation EU” recovery plan.