State aid: Commission approves €20 million Italian scheme to support companies managing passenger port terminals in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved a €20 million Italian scheme to support companies managing port terminals used for embarking and disembarking of passengers, in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. The public support will take the form of direct grants. It will be open to companies managing passenger port terminals that have experienced a significant loss of revenue due to the sharp decline in passenger traffic caused by the corona. The purpose of the scheme is to help the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs and continue their activities during and after the outbreak. The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions of the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) aid will be granted no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.62503 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.