EC approves Bulgarian EUR 15.3m scheme in support of the tourist sector

The European Commission has approved a Bulgarian scheme of EUR 15.3 million to support tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The measure was approved under the Temporary Framework for State Aid.

The aid under the scheme will take the form of a direct grant. To be eligible, a company must have registered a difference of at least EUR 256 (BGN 500) between its turnover (excluding VAT) for 2019 and its turnover (excluding VAT) in 2020, combined with the state aid received in 2020 and 2021. In addition, the company must have registered a turnover (excluding VAT) higher than EUR 256 (BGN 500) in both 2018 and 2019. The purpose of the measure is to help beneficiaries meet their liquidity needs and continue their activities during and after the pandemic.

The Commission found that the Bulgarian scheme met the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid (i) shall not exceed EUR 2,3 million per beneficiary; and (ii) will be granted no later than 30 June 2022. The Commission concludes that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to address the serious difficulties in the economy of a Member State in accordance with Article 107 (3) (b) ) of the TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure in accordance with EU state aid rules.

More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be provided under № SA.100885 in the State Aid Register on the Commission's Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.