Competition & State Aid

  • European Commission prolongs and further expands Temporary Framework to support economy in context of coronavirus outbreak
  • EU approves new and amended Member State measures to support the economy

Trade / Export Controls

  • European Commission affirms compatibility of COVID-19 export authorization mechanism with international obligations
  • European Commission publishes latest list of Member State mechanisms screening foreign direct investments, reflecting various COVID-19 related measures
  • Expansion of EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement welcomed as instrument to rebuild growth following the COVID-19 pandemic

Medicines, Medical Devices, and Personal Protective Equipment

  • EMA starts rolling review of Regeneron/Roche COVID-19 vaccine
  • European Commission adopts Implementing Regulation on the authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines
  • EU approves AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines

Cybersecurity, Privacy & Data Protection

  • Guidelines on proof of vaccination for medical purposes - basic interoperability elements
State Aid

European Commission prolongs and further expands Temporary Framework to support economy in context of coronavirus outbreak (see here)

In light of the continued economic uncertainty due to the prolonged pandemic, the European Commission decided to extend all measures set out in the State aid Temporary Framework (adopted 19 March 2020) until 31 December 2021.

The Commission has also substantially increased the aid ceilings set out in the Temporary Framework to:

  • €225,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products (previously €100,000)
  • €270,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sector (previously €120,000)
  • €1.8 million per company active in all other sectors (previously €800,000)
  • up to €10 million (previously €3 million) for contributing to the portion of fixed costs not covered by revenues, for companies with turnover losses of at least 30% as compared to the same period in 2019.

Furthermore, recapitalization measures, originally set to expire on 20 September 2021, are also prolonged until 31 December 2021. To recall, these recapitalization measures respond to the constricted ability of European companies to supply goods and services due to the pandemic, provoking losses that have diminished their equity and their ability to borrow on the markets. The Temporary Framework's expansion in May 2020 thereby included facilitating public interventions in the form of recapitalization aid to non-financial companies, along with safeguards to preserve competition (see Jones Day COVID-19 Update No. 7 of 8 May 2020).

Until 31 December 2022, the Commission will also enable Member States to convert certain repayable instruments (e.g. guarantees, loans, repayable advances) into other forms of aid, such as direct grants, provided the conversion does not exceed the new ceilings. This measure should incentivize Member States to construct their aid as repayable instruments from the outset.

Member States seeking to modify existing aid measures, towards extending their duration until 31 December 2021, expanding their budget, or aligning such measures with the now-amended Temporary Framework (including higher aid ceilings per company), may notify such modifications in a block notification. This is intended to minimize Member States' administrative burdens.

EU approves new and amended Member State measures to support the economy (see M here and here)

Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the European Commission has adopted a significant number of State aid measures under Article 107(2)b, Article 107(3)b and under the Temporary Framework.

The most recent measures adopted to support the economy and companies affected by coronavirus outbreak include:

  • €230 million Czech scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • €66.9 million Swedish scheme to support package travel organizers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • €10.2 million Cypriot scheme to support self-employed and enterprises affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • €200 million Belgian scheme to support companies in Flanders affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • €5 million Slovenian scheme to support the Fraport Slovenija (the operator of Jo~e Pučnik Ljubljana Airport) for damages caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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