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French scheme to support energy intensive firms granted EU approval

A €5 million (£4.3m) French scheme to support energy-intensive companies in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been granted approval by the European Commission.

France notified the Commission under the Temporary Crisis Framework of the measure, under which direct grants will be provided for additional costs due to the increases in natural gas and electricity prices.

The measure, which covers three eligible period from March to May 2022, June to August 2022 and September to November 2022, will be open to energy-intensive firms across sectors, with the exception of credit and financial institutions.

The Commission found the French scheme is “necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance” in the economy of the member state.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President, in charge of competition policy said: “Energy-intensive companies have been hit particularly hard by the current geopolitical crisis and the consequent increase of energy prices. This €5 billion scheme will enable France to mitigate the impact of the rising input costs on those companies, which play a key role for the French economy. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people.

“At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, co-ordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”

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