27 April 2022

The European Commission has approved a new 45 million euro state aid scheme on 26 April 2022, to improve the post-pandemic economic situation in Belgium. Made available through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), it focuses on the Brussels-Capital region help repair the immediate economic and social damage. The impact of the pandemic is felt by undertakings of all kinds, especially in the health, tourism, culture, retail, and transport sectors.   

The outbreak’s impact on the economy 

The pandemic outbreak poses the risk of a serious downturn affecting the whole economy of the EU, hitting businesses, jobs, and households. Well-targeted public support is needed to ensure that sufficient finance remains available in the markets, to counter the damage inflicted on healthy undertakings, and preserve the continuity of economic activity. The main response will come from Member States’ national budgets. EU State aid rules enable Member States to take swift and effective action to support citizens and undertakings, in particular SMEs, facing economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak.ak. 

The Belgian Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), divided over three-country regions, includes a total of 140 reform or investment projects explaining how it will invest the first financial supports received between 2021and 2023.   

The Commission will authorize further disbursements, such as the current scheme, based on the satisfactory fulfillment of the milestones and targets outlined in the recovery and resilience plan, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms. 

State aid in the Brussels-Captial region 

The European Commission has approved a 45 million euro Belgian scheme to support companies active in the Brussels-Capital region affected by the pandemic and the restrictive measures that the government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The public support was approved under the State aid NGEU.  

The scheme, “la prime Relance”, will take the form of direct grants and is allocated towards the following sectors

  • Nightclubs;
  • Restaurants and cafés and some of their suppliers;
  • Events;
  • Culture;  
  • Tourism;  
  • Sport;
  • Passenger transport. 

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the Brussels economy. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. 

In order to be eligible, companies must be: 

  • Registered in the Central Bank of Enterprises by 31 December 2021 
  • Have recorded  a yearly turnover higher than 25.000 euro in 2019 

The scheme’s financial aid will: 

  • Offer a maximum of 2.3 million euro per company 
  • Be granted on 30 June 2022 at the latest. 

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to accompany you on the new NextGenerationEU path. Our experts are at your disposal to analyse how your project fits into the NextGenerationEU European recovery fund and to take the next steps together with you. 

Yvette Poumpalova 

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