Commission approves €1.46 billion Czech State aid schemes

The aid will support prevention of spread of poultry, pig diseases
calendar icon 12 February 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, two Czech schemes with a total budget of around €1.46 billion (CZK 35 billion) to support farmers in preventing the spread of certain poultry and pig diseases. The measures will contribute to the achievement of the EU's strategic objectives relating to the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Czech measures

Czechia notified the Commission of its plans to adopt two schemes with a total budget of around €1.46 billion (CZK 35 billion) to support farmers in preventing the spread of certain poultry and pig diseases and adopting biosecurity measures. In particular, the schemes aim to prevent the spread of: (i) avian influenza, salmonella and poultry campylobacteriosis, and (ii) porcine brucellosis, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, and salmonellosis.

The schemes, which will run until 31 December 2029, are open to small, medium and large farmers in Czechia which put in place measures for the disinfection, disinsection, deratization as well as other biosecurity measures.

Under the schemes, the aid will take the form of direct grants to support the additional costs of the cleaning of farm premises and equipment, treatment of feed and water and veterinary interventions. The aid will cover up to 50% of the eligible costs.

The Commission's assessment

The Commission assessed the schemes under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU'), which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities under certain conditions, and under the 2022 Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas (‘2022 Agricultural Guidelines').

The Commission found that:

  • The measures facilitate the development of an economic activity, namely the production of poultry and pig meat.
  • The schemes are necessary and appropriate to ensure that farmers put in place measures preventing the contamination of their farms and the spread of certain poultry and pig diseases. They therefore support general objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy of ensuring long-term food security and improving the EU's response to agriculture to societal demands on food and health, including high-quality, safe and nutritious food.
  • The aid will have an 'incentive effect', as the beneficiaries would not put these measures in place without the public support.
  • The aid is proportionate, as it is limited to the minimum necessary and will have a limited impact on competition and trade between Member States.
  • The aid brings about positive effects that outweigh any potential distortion of competition and trade in the EU.

On this basis, the Commission approved the Czech schemes under EU State aid rules.

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