EU proposes extending relaxed state aid rules until June

BRUSSELS — The European Commission is proposing to the EU member states to continue flexing state aid rules until the middle of next year to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the pandemic struck, the EU has approved a multi-billion rescue package. Meanwhile, member states have agreed on a 1.8 trillion euro recovery plan and long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period.

To further relieve the pressure on hard-hit businesses, the bloc’s executive arm decided in March to relax strict state-aid rules to allow for other possible sources of public support.

“Over the past seven months, our state aid temporary framework has paved the way for almost 3 trillion euros of member state potential support to businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, said Friday.

With the effects of the economic crisis expected to last, the commission has sent to the 27 EU member states a draft proposal to prolong the state aid framework until June, 30, 2021.

The commission also proposed adjusting the temporary program with further measures designed to keep businesses afloat.