State aid: Commission approves Italian restructuring aid scheme for SMEs

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an Italian scheme for support to the restructuring operations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through equity, quasi-equity and grants for a maximum amount of €10 million per undertaking. Under the scheme, support can be provided only to SMEs in difficulty, as defined by State aid rules, holding historical brands of national interest or carrying out economic activities of strategic importance. In particular, the scheme relates to the implementation of the provisions of article 43 of the Italian Decree-Law No 34 of 19 May 2020 (‘Fondo per la salvaguardia dei livelli occupazionali e la prosecuzione dell attivitá d’impresa’) on SMEs. This decision does not cover support in the form of restructuring aid for large companies. The Commission assessed the measure under the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring non-financial undertakings in difficulty. On this basis, the Commission concluded that Italian scheme is in line with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register, under the case number SA.58790.