Brussels, 4 March 2010
State aid: Commission authorises temporary Slovak scheme to grant limited amounts of aid of up to €15,000 to farmers
The European Commission has authorised today a Slovak scheme with a budget of approximately €3.32 million which aims at supporting farmers in Slovakia who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis. Aid under this scheme can be granted until 31 December 2010 and will take the form of a direct grant. This scheme is a further application of the Commission's Temporary framework for State aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis, as amended at the end of October 2009 in order to allow Member States to grant limited amounts of aid to primary agricultural producers (see IP/09/1993 ).
The 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 the Slovak authorities in application of the Temporary Crisis Framework (among which measure N 222/2009 as amended by N 711/09- see IP/09/680 ). The scheme provides aid in the form of direct grant. It will be granted by the Minister of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic and administered by Agricultural Paying Agency.
The new Slovak scheme meets all the conditions of the Temporary Crisis Framework as amended. In particular, the Slovak authorities demonstrated that it is necessary, proportional and appropriate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy. The Commission therefore considered that the scheme can be approved under Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (former Article 87(3)(b) of the EC Treaty).
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 707/09.