EU regulators are considering extending easier state-aid rules which allow governments to support businesses affected by the war in Ukraine to end-2023, and with bigger amounts permitted, competition chief Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday.
The more flexible rules were introduced in March and subsequently revised in July.
The European Commission is seeking feedback from EU countries on the level of public guarantees they can provide to energy companies to cover the financial collateral for their trading activities in order to offset high market prices and volatility.
Governments are also asked how the rules can be made more flexible to allow them to provide faster and more effective support to companies hit with high energy bills.
“One of the things we are consulting on is a prolongation for a full year until the 31st of December 2023. We are also consulting on larger aid amounts," Vestager told a European Parliament hearing.
She said the Commission has to date given the green light to several billion euros of state aid.
“Based on the rules we have already, we have taken 114 decisions that is as of 17 October and we have been approving 133 national measures notified by 25 member states. The budgets that we have been approving are around 455 billion euros," Vestager said.
She said the Commission may broaden the scope of the kind of businesses eligible for state aid.
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