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European Commission Daily News 29th Ma

European Green Deal: Commission launched public consultation on decarbonising the EU gas market

Last Friday, the Commission launched a public consultation on the revision of the Gas Directive and Gas Regulation. This legislation is being revised to align it to the ambition of the European Green Deal to decarbonise the EU gas sector on the path to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. All stakeholders are invited to share their views during the next 12 weeks, until 18 June, on how the existing EU gas legislation should be revised to support the uptake of renewable and low-carbon gases and hydrogen, while ensuring integrated, liquid and interoperable EU markets. The results of this consultation will feed into the legislative proposals due before the end of the year, as announced in the 2021 Commission’s Work Programme. Ahead of this revision of the EU’s gas legislation, the Commission plans to present the ‘Fit for 55′ package this June to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and pave the way towards climate-neutrality goal by mid-century. More information is available here

State aid: Commission approves €6.5 million Belgian scheme to support pig farmers affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €6.5 million Belgian scheme to support pig farmers with breeding sows in the Walloon region in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants of up to €100,000 per beneficiary, to partially address the loss of income they incurred due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Belgian scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid does not exceed the limits per beneficiary active in the primary agricultural sector provided by the Temporary Framework; and (ii) the scheme will run until 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.62393 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. 

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