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Brussels, 3 February 2010

State aid: Commission temporarily authorises Hungary to grant limited amounts of aid of up to €15,000 to farmers

The European Commission has authorised under State aid rules a Hungarian scheme worth some EUR 18.2 million (HUF 5000 million) aimed at supporting farmers who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis. Aid under this new scheme can be granted until 31 December 2010 and will take the form of direct grants, soft loans, interest subsidies and guarantees. The Hungarian scheme is an application of the amendment to the European Commission's Temporary framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis, which introduced the possibility of granting limited amounts of aid to primary agricultural producers.

The Hungarian scheme is open to farmers in all sub-sectors of primary agricultural production, provided they were not already in difficulty on 1 July 2008 (i.e. before the beginning of the crisis). It is limited in time until 31 December 2010 and complements other crisis measures already put in place by Hungary in application of the Temporary Crisis Framework.

The new Hungarian scheme meets all the conditions of the Temporary Crisis Framework as amended. In particular, the Hungarian authorities demonstrated that it is necessary, proportional and appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the Hungarian economy. The European Commission therefore considered that the scheme can be approved under Article 107(3)(b) of the TFEU.

The full text of the Commission decision will be published in the State Aid Register on DG Competition’s website under the reference number N 679/09.

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