The European Commission decided on 22 January 2021 that direct subsidies to German trade fair companies are allowed under European state aid law. This is regulated by the "Federal umbrella scheme for damage compensation of fairs and congresses".
The Federal umbrella scheme applies to all subsidies granted in Germany to private and public companies operating trade fair infrastructures as compensation for any damage directly caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. In this context, damages incurred from 01.03.2020 to 31.12.2020 are fully eligible for compensation. Damage is considered to have been directly caused by the COVID 19 pandemic if it has been impossible to hold an event or partially impossible due to a limitation of the number of persons permitted. The scheme includes a claw-back mechanism, whereby any possible public support in excess of the actual damage received by the beneficiaries will have to be paid back to the relevant granting public German authority.