The European Commission has approved a Hungarian scheme to support the agri-food value chain in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, which is expected to mobilise at least approximately €314 million (approx. HUF 111 billion). The scheme will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in all sectors, but is aimed at the wider agri-food value chain. The objective of the measure is to provide those companies with financial means to cover their immediate working capital and investment needs, and help them maintain their activities during these difficult times.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This Hungarian guarantee scheme, expected to mobilise at least €314 million, will support the Hungarian agriculture and food industry, as well as the wider agriculture and bio-economy value chain. This measure will improve the liquidity of businesses and help them continue their activities in these difficult times. We continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place quickly and effectively, in line with EU rules.”
The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April 2020. The Temporary Framework enables Member States to combine support measures, with the exception of loans and guarantees for the same loan and exceeding the thresholds foreseen by the Temporary Framework.
The Framework allows Member States to provide the following types of aid:
- Direct grants, equity injections, selective tax advantages and advance payments
- State guarantees for loans taken by companies
- Subsidised public loans to companies
- Safeguards for banks that channel State aid to the real economy
- Public short-term export credit insurance
- Support for coronavirus related research and development (R&D)
- Support for the construction and upscaling of testing facilities
- Support for the production of products relevant to tackle the coronavirus outbreak
- Targeted support in the form of deferral of tax payments and/or suspensions of social security contributions
- Targeted support in the form of wage subsidies for employees
More detailed information on the Temporary Framework can be found here.
The full original press release can be found here in the Commission Press Corner.
In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the European Union (EU) has joined together with global partners to organise a worldwide pledging marathon, set to begin on Monday 4 May. The marathon is part of the Coronavirus Global Response, which is the response to the call to action launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other global health actors on 24 April to “Accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines”.
Read the call to action here.
To support this call to action the EU and its partners aim to raise €7.5 billion in initial funding via the worldwide pledging marathon starting on Monday 4 May 2020. During the marathon countries and organisations around the world will be invited to pledge funds and support for the call to action.
European Commission President von der Leyen said: “We need to bring the world, its leaders and people together against coronavirus. We will launch a global pledging effort. A real marathon. Because beating coronavirus requires a global response and sustained actions on many fronts. We need to develop a vaccine, to produce it and deploy it to every corner of the world. And we need to make it available at affordable prices.”
The 4 May 2020 will mark the start of the marathon and pledges, and also see the European Commission announce the next milestones of a global campaign.
The collected funds will be allocated to three main strands:
Find out more about the effort and how to get involved on the Coronavirus Global Response website: europa.eu/global-response
Follow #UnitedAgainstCoronavirus across social media for updates and help raise awareness by sharing information and announcements surrounding the pledging marathon.
Read the original press release in the Commission press corner.
The original article can be found on the EASME website.
The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP), a COSME project, has just launched the Covid-19 Industrial Clusters Response Portal to respond to and address challenges during the time of COVID-19.
What is available via the new portal?
This new ECCP portal will allow the existing industrial cluster community to come together and exchange quickly and directly. Via the portal, ECCP members will be able to share solutions, connect with others and support each other in response to COVID-19 challenges.
What are the objectives of this new portal?
This new ECCP portal provides a single point of access to information for industry on actions and decisions taken by the European Commission and the EU Member States impacting on the Internal Market. The portal also aims to facilitate an open discussion forum where actors can share their experiences, solutions, requests and questions.
What has been done so far?
- A recent call to increase production of medical supplies resulted in 1 100 offers from companies across Europe.
- Public authority demands have been included on the portal including:
- The public administration of Madrid needs medical material, the Madrid Automotive Cluster responded and is assisting the administration to match-up the offers and demands of the urgently needed medical material.
How can you get involved?
You can join the community right here, and ask for help, advice or browse posted solutions on the reaction webpage. You can also join in order to offer expertise, services or advice to those in need. Join the ECCP community today!
To create an account and/or register for the updates newsletter look here.
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