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State Aid: European Commission Approves Irish ‘Umbrella’ Scheme to Aid Tourism Sector

State Aid: European Commission Approves Irish ‘Umbrella’ Scheme to Aid Tourism Sector

The European Commission has approved a €55 million Irish ‘umbrella’ scheme to support companies active in tourism or in directly related sectors in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, measures can be adopted to support companies active in tourism or in directly related sectors that suffer from a reduction in turnover or profit due to the coronavirus outbreak and the related measures necessary to limit the spread of the virus. The objective of the measure is to help beneficiaries address the sudden liquidity shortage they are facing, thus helping them to continue their activities during and after the outbreak.

The Commission found that the Irish scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) the aid will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. 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 of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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