The state aid scheme “Support for SMEs in order to overcome the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic – productive investments” was approved by Ministerial Order no. 1,290 of November 16, 2021, published on November 22. The document is signed by MIPE Secretary of State Csilla Hegedüs in place of the interim minister, the dismissed prime minister, Florin Cîțu.
According to the official document, for the mentioned financing scheme the initial provisions of the proposal of Guide of the applicant that was in public consultation were kept, but being ignored a series of requests of the social partners.
Thus, the maximum amount that can be requested is 1 million euros, but there is no minimum threshold of 50,000 euros that MIPE declares to introduce.
The financing will be granted in the order of submitting the projects for the projects that meet a score of at least 70 points until the exhausted budget is exhausted. Basically, the principle of first come, first served is maintained.
Applicants will submit projects directly in the electronic system MySMIS-2014 (NOT in the SME grant system implemented by the Ministry of Economy and STS, as requested by a number of partners).
The official document states that “The scheme shall apply until 31 December 2021. Given that the Temporary Framework will be extended until 30 June 2022, the period of application of the scheme will be extended accordingly”. Meanwhile, on November 18, the European Commission extended the temporary framework COVID-19 until June 30, 2022, but the scheme kept a provision according to which “financing contracts will be signed until December 31, 2021”. Normally, this provision should also be amended by extending the contracting period, because until then a series of legal procedures should be carried out: launching the applicant’s guide, writing projects by applicants, opening the call for projects, submission, evaluation and selection.
The scoring grid remained with the provision that companies that registered a decrease in turnover on 31.12.2020 compared to 31.12.2019 of less than 5% to be rejected from the start.
Measure 4.1.1 – The JOP should have replaced Measure 3 – investment grants, canceled by the government, but as it now shows, it has nothing to do with the old COVID aid scheme.
According to the document published in the Official Gazette, the measure adopted concerns the de minimis scheme that Romania sent to Brussels and that the European Commission approved on October 27.
The total allocated budget is the equivalent in lei of the amount of 358,384,803.64 euros, of which 300,000,000.00 euros REACT-EU ERDF through POC 2014—2020 (EU funds) and 58,384,803.64 euros funds from the budget of state.
The maximum value of the aid is the RON equivalent of the amount of 1,000,000 euros per project.
The State aid intensity of the eligible expenditure is:
The remaining 5-15% must be borne by the beneficiary company.
MIPE estimates that through the funding scheme will receive financial support a number of 4,000 beneficiaries, although if all winners will get the maximum amount of 1 million euros, the number of beneficiaries will be much smaller: less than 360.
a) the decrease of the turnover on 31.12.2020 compared to 31.12.2019 – 40 points:
b) investment of at least 20% of the project value under the conditions of applicability of the provisions of Annex I of the Delegated Commission Regulation (EU) supplementing Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of technical screening criteria for the determination the conditions under which an economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation or adaptation and to determine whether that economic activity does not cause significant harm to any of the other environmental objectives – 40 points:
c) the investment is made on the CANE code related to the negative balance of Romania’s trade balance, respectively imports are higher than exports, according to data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) / National Bank of Romania (BNR) – 5 points:
– NO – 0 points;
e) increase of labor productivity in year 3 of sustainability – turnover divided by the number of employees (reference year is 2019, and the number of employees in year 3 of sustainability must be at least equal to that of 2019) – 10 points :
Grants will be awarded in the order of submission of projects for projects that meet a score of at least 70 points until the budget is exhausted.
In order to benefit from state aid based on this scheme, the applicant will have to submit an application for funding in the electronic platform MYSMIS available at https://2014.mysmis.ro/, accompanied by the necessary documentation for the analysis of the application, which includes:
(i) is not resident for tax purposes or is not incorporated under the laws of the jurisdictions on the EU list of non-cooperating jurisdictions;
(ii) is not controlled, directly or indirectly, by shareholders in jurisdictions belonging to the EU list of non-cooperating jurisdictions, depending on the beneficial owner, as defined in Art. 3 point 6 of Directive (EU) 2015/849;
(iii) does not control, directly or indirectly, its own subsidiaries or permanent units in jurisdictions on the EU list of non-cooperating jurisdictions; and
(iv) does not share ownership with undertakings in jurisdictions on the EU list of non-cooperating jurisdictions;
The revised version of future Operational Programs is subject to public consultation
Through the future Operational Programs related to Cohesion Policy, in the financial programming period 2021-2027, Romania will benefit from a total funding of 31.3 billion euros for the development of key areas, such as innovation, infrastructure, environmental protection, health, education, employment, social inclusion, urban or territorial development.
The Ministry of European Investment and Projects pays particular attention to the practical application of the partnership principle, thus ensuring the possibility of involving regional, local, urban and other public authorities, civil society, economic and social partners and, where appropriate, decision-making. of research organizations and universities.
To this end, the Ministry of European Investments and Projects launches a second stage of public consultation on the second version of the Operational Programs 2021-2027, by publishing them on the institution’s website, in the section Programming Periods – 2021-2027 – https://mfe.gov.ro/minister/perioade-de-programare/perioada-2021-2027/ .
The publication of the revised versions of the Operational Programs is done progressively, in correlation with the completion of the inter-institutional consultation process, the institution’s communiqué mentions.
“Partners are requested to submit comments on the OP by 26 November 2021 and by 29 November in the case of the OP Transport.”
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