Answer to Written Question: Company takeovers and State aid allowed under the Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak
(Source: European Parliament)
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Vestager
on behalf of the European Commission
In order to have a better overview of the aid provided, the Commission launched two surveys (in September and December 2020) to seek information from Member States on the implementation of coronavirus related State aid measures in 2020. The replies from Member States do not indicate that Member States would have significantly outspent the others and/or in a manner that would have been disproportionate as compared to the economic damage suffered during the crisis.
In absolute terms, according to the preliminary data sent by Member States, France granted more than a fourth of the total aid provided (EUR 155.36 billion), followed by Italy with 19.8% of the total aid provided (EUR 107.9 billion), Germany with 19.1% of the total aid provided (EUR 104.25 billion) and Spain at 16.7% (EUR 90.8 billion). In relative terms, Spain is the country that has provided to the economy the most as compared to its own GDP (7.3%), followed by France (6.4%), Italy (6.0%), Greece (4.39%), Malta (3.9%), Hungary (3.7%), Portugal (3.6%), Poland (3.6%) and Cyprus (3.5%).
The need to protect competition is particularly prominent when it comes to highly distortive measures. By way of example, as regards support measures in the form of equity and hybrid capital instruments, the Temporary Framework sets out conditions as regards the State’s entry, remuneration and exit from the equity of the beneficiaries, as well as governance conditions and appropriate measures to limit distortions of competition. Those conditions include, but are not limited to, the prohibition of cross-subsidisation and a ban on acquisitions.
 European Commission, Directorate-General for Competition, Competition State aid brief: The use of COVID-19 related State aid measures by EU Member States, March 2021, available at https://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/csb/kdam21001enn.pdf