The European Commission has approved a Maltese aid scheme of €11.5 million to support investments in the production of products that are relevant to the coronavirus outbreak, including vaccines, ventilators and personal protective equipment. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020, as amended on 3 April and 8 May 2020.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “To address the current health crisis, increasing the production of products relevant to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, such as medicines, vaccines, ventilators and protective clothing, is key. This €11.5 million Maltese scheme will support investments for the production of these crucial products. We continue to work closely with all Member States to find solutions to tackle the outbreak, in line with EU rules.”
The Maltese support measures
Malta notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a scheme to support investments in the production of coronavirus-relevant products. The scheme will have a total budget of €11.5 million.
Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants, repayable advances and tax advantages. The scheme is open to all enterprises of all sectors capable of increasing production of coronavirus-relevant products or of diversifying existing production to be able to produce and manufacture such products.
The aim of the scheme is to enhance and accelerate the production of products directly relevant to the coronavirus outbreak. These include medicinal products such as vaccines, hospital and medical equipment including ventilators, and protective clothing and equipment.
The Commission found that the Maltese scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the aid will cover a significant share of the investment costs necessary for the creation of new production facilities. Furthermore, under the scheme, investment projects will have to be completed within six months after the date of granting the aid.
The Commission concluded that the Maltese measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to fight the health crisis and contribute to address the common European production needs in the current crisis, in line with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.
On this basis, the Commission approved the measures under EU State aid rules.