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 28 jul 2017 15:42 

Commission approves rescue and restructuring aid scheme for SMEs in Belgium's Wallonia region

The European Commission has found a 20 million Belgian aid scheme aimed at facilitating the rescue and restructuring of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) in the region of Wallonia to be in line with EU State aid rules.

Under the scheme, which will run until 2020, the publicly-owned "Société Wallonne de Gestion et de Participation" ("SOGEPA") will be entitled to offer rescue and restructuring support to Walloon SMEs in financial difficulty. SOGEPA will provide support notably if a company's default would likely to trigger social hardship in the region. For example, SMEs impacted by the recent closure of Caterpillar's Belgian plant in Gosselies may be eligible for aid under the scheme.

The Commission assessed the scheme under the Commission's 2014 Guidelines on the rescue and restructuring of non-financial companies in difficulty and found that the aid will be transparent and limited in time and in scope.

The Commission found that the support will contribute to economic cohesion and development in the region, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. The scheme also requires potential beneficiaries of restructuring aid to present a sound restructuring plan ensuring their long-term viability, and to make a significant own contribution to the restructuring costs. More information will be made available under the case number SA.47781 in the public case register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

The State Aid Weekly e-News lists new publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal.

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