State aid: Commission approves €30 million Italian aid scheme to promote intermodal freight transport in Friuli Venezia Giulia region

Daily News 03 / 03 / 2022


Economy - published on 07 March 2022


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Source: European Commission Spokesperson’s Service

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an Italian aid scheme to encourage freight traffic to shift from road to rail and to waterborne transport in the region of Friuli
Venezia Giulia. The scheme has an overall budget of €30 million and will run until 31 December 2027. The aid will be granted in the form of direct grants to logistics companies and multimodal
transport operators that combine a rail and waterborne leg as an alternative to road-only transport. The amount of aid that eligible beneficiaries can receive is based on the reduction in the
external costs (pollution, noise, congestion and accidents) achieved by rail and waterborne transport, compared to road transport, as well as on the distance covered by the services. Higher amounts
of aid may be granted to support intermodal services within the region, which mostly concern the transport of iron slabs over very short distances, where the road-only alternative is significantly
cheaper but still results in considerably higher pollution, noise, congestion and numbers of accidents. The scheme follows two previous aid measures (SA.18169,
approved on 22 March 2006 and twice prolonged under SA.29788
on 10 June 2010 and SA.45606
on 18 July 2016; SA.50115,
approved on 20 December 2018) which both expired in 2021. At the same time, it introduces adjustments to align the new measures with the ambitious targets set out in the
EU Green Deal
. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, and in particular under Article 93 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Commission considered
that the scheme is beneficial for the environment and for the modal shift from road-only to less polluting transport solutions. Furthermore, it is in line with the priorities set out in the
Sustainable
and Smart Mobility Strategy
and in the
EU Green Deal Agenda
. The Commission concluded that the scheme is necessary and appropriate to encourage the shift from road to rail and waterborne transport in the region of Friuli Venezia
Giulia. Finally, the Commission found that the aid will be proportionate, i.e. limited to the minimum necessary, and will not have undue negative effects on competition and trade in the EU. On this
basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public
case register under the case
number SA.100286 once confidentiality issues have been resolved.

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