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State aid: Commission approves €16 million Finnish scheme to support farmers in context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

The European Commission has approved a €16 million Finnish scheme to support the agricultural sector in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU'), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, recently said:

The agricultural sector has been particularly hit by the input costs increase caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the related sanctions. This €16 million scheme will enable Finland to support those farmers affected by the current geopolitical crisis. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”

The Finnish measure

Finland notified to the Commission under the Temporary Crisis Framework a €16 million scheme to support the agricultural sector in the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Under this measure, the aid will take the form of tax advantages. In particular, the Finnish Tax Administration will reduce the amount of the real estate tax on the agricultural production buildings due for the fiscal year 2022.

The measure will be open to those farmers affected by the costs increase of production inputs, such as electricity and fertilisers, caused by the current geopolitical crisis.

The Commission found that the Finnish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €35,000 per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2022.

The Commission concluded that the Finnish scheme 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 Crisis Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_3149

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