Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

The European Commission has found amendments to the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (the Fund) to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak to be in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission approved the establishment of the Fund on 14 December 2020.

The Fund brings together support by Member States under the management of the European Investment Bank Group. It aims at addressing in a coordinated manner the financing needs of European companies, mainly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), by providing guarantees on debt instruments and equity instruments.

All Member States have the option to participate in the Fund. So far, 22 Member States decided to participate (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden).

In light of the current needs stemming from the protracted nature of the crisis, the Commission has approved the following amendments to the Fund: (i) an increase of the financing ceilings and maximum maturities of certain guaranteed products; (ii) a possibility for banks to include loans and other financing options under the Fund’s guarantee until 30 June 2022 and to further extend the maturity of such loans in duly justified circumstances; and (iii) a new basket bonds product to address the specific financing needs of SMEs and mid-caps.

The Commission concluded that these amendments contribute to managing the economic impact of the coronavirus in the 22 participating Members States. They are therefore necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of the participating Member States, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the general principles set out in the State aid Temporary Framework.

On this basis, the Commission has approved the amendments under EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case numbers SA.100052, SA.100071, SA.100119, SA.100123, SA.100139, SA.100149, SA.100153, SA.100167, SA.100183, SA.100191, SA.100196, SA.100203, SA.100220, SA.100232, SA.100253, SA.100283, SA.100335, SA.100382, SA.100392, SA.100393, SA.100414 and SA.100424 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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