competition-policy.ec.europa.eu/state-aid/temporary-crisis-and-transition-framework_en”>amendment to the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework to prolong by six months a limited number of sections of the Framework aimed at providing a crisis response following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the unprecedented increase in energy prices.
In particular, taking into account the feedback received from Member States, today’s amendment postpones the phase-out of the provisions enabling Member States to grant limited amounts of aid (section 2.1 of the Framework) and aid to compensate for high energy prices (section 2.4 of the Framework). With this partial adjustment of the phase-out schedule of the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, Member States can maintain their support schemes to cover the upcoming winter heating period as a safety net in case certain companies continue to be affected by the economic disturbance caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine. At the same time, Member States will be given more time beyond the winter heating period to implement the measures they may need to put in place. This will help Member States in the practical implementation of support measures.
Adjusted phase-out schedule of the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework
Since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine and in the context of its direct and indirect effects on the EU economy, the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, first adopted on 23 March 2022, and subsequently amended in July and October 2022 and replaced on 9 March 2023 by the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, enables Member States to provide timely, targeted and proportionate support to businesses in need. The Framework has allowed Member States to act quickly and effectively to help companies affected by the significant economic uncertainties, disrupted trade flows and supply chains, and the exceptionally large and unexpected price increases, in particular of natural gas, electricity, numerous other input and raw materials, and primary goods. Those effects taken together had caused a serious disturbance in the economy of all Member States across a wide range of economic sectors.
As Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues, the EU’s economic situation is showing resilience in the face of the shocks it has endured. The situation in the energy markets and in particular gas and average electricity prices seem to have stabilised. While overall, , the risks of energy supply shortages have receded, among other things due to the measures taken by Member States to diversify energy sources, the Autumn 2023 Economic Forecast notes that Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine and wider geopolitical tensions continue to pose risks and remain a source of uncertainty. In spite of the general positive trend, energy markets still remain vulnerable.
Today, taking into account the feedback received from Member States in the context of a survey of 20 July 2023 and a consultation on 6 November 2023, the Commission has adopted amendments to the provisions of the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework enabling Member States to grant:
- Limited amounts of aid (section 2.1 of the Framework): This section will be prolonged by six months, until 30 June 2024. In addition, the ceilings set out for the limited amounts of aid are increased to cover the winter heating period: from €250,000 to €280,000 for the agricultural sector; from €300,000 to €335,000 for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors; and from €2 million to €2.25 million for all other sectors.
- Aid to compensate for high energy prices (section 2.4 of the Framework): This section will also be prolonged by six months and will continue to apply until 30 June 2024. Under this section, Member States can continue to provide support by covering parts of additional energy costs only as far as the energy prices significantly exceed pre-crisis levels.
These two amendments will allow Member States, where needed, to extend their support schemes and ensure that companies still affected by the crisis will not be cut off from necessary support in the upcoming winter heating period. At the same time, the extension will facilitate Member States’ practical implementation of support schemes by giving them sufficient time to do so until the end of June 2024..
The changes adopted today do not affect the remaining provisions of the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework:
- The other crisis-related sections of the Framework (i.e. sections 2.2. and 2.3. on liquidity support in form of State guarantees and subsidised loans, and section 2.7. on measures aimed at supporting electricity demand reduction) will not be extended beyond their current expiry date, which is 31 December 2023.
- The sections of the Framework covering the transition towards a net-zero economy, required to further decarbonise the European economy and accelerate becoming more independent from fossil fuels (sections 2.5, 2.6 and 2.8), are not affected by today’s amendment and will remain available until 31 December 2025.
The Commission will continue to closely monitor the economic developments and stands ready to swiftly respond in the event of any new crisis situation. However, the Commission does not currently plan to consult Member States again on the dedicated crisis-related tools of the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, which will phase-out on 30 June 2024.
The State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted on 23 March 2022, enabled Member States to use the flexibility foreseen under State aid rules to support the economy in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Temporary Crisis Framework was amended on 20 July 2022 to complement the Winter Preparedness Package and in line with the REPowerEU Plan objectives. The Temporary Crisis Framework has been further amended on 28 October 2022 in line with the Regulation on an emergency intervention to address high energy prices and the Regulation enhancing solidarity through better coordination of gas purchases, reliable price benchmarks and exchanges of gas across borders.
On 9 March 2023, the Commission adopted the current Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework to foster support measures in sectors which are key for the transition to a net-zero economy, in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan.
The Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework, as amended, provides for the following types of aid, which can be granted by Member States:
- Limited amounts of aid (section 2.1), in any form and granted until 30 June 2024, for companies affected by the current crisis or by the subsequent sanctions and countersanctions up to €280,000 and €335,000 in the agriculture, and fisheries and aquaculture sectors respectively, and up to €2.25 million in all other sectors.
- Liquidity support in form of State guarantees and subsidised loans (sections 2.2 and 2.3). In exceptional cases and subject to strict safeguards, Member States may provide to energy utilities for their trading activities public guarantees exceeding 90% coverage, where they are provided as unfunded financial collateral to central counterparties or clearing members. These sections are applicable only until 31 December 2023 and have not been amended.
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