State aid: Commission approves public support to promote combined transport in Italy

The European Commission has found the prolongation of an Italian scheme to encourage the shift of freight from road to rail to be in line with EU state aid rules. The measure will promote an environmentally friendlier transport mode, and thus further EU environmental and transport objectives, whilst maintaining competition in the Single Market. The aid takes the form of a subsidy to railway companies performing freight services. The subsidy will offset rail infrastructure charges that road transport operations are not subject to. The original scheme was approved in December 2016 and allowed public support to be granted until 31 December 2017. Today’s decision endorses the prolongation of the scheme for an additional period of 2 years, from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2019, without increasing the original budget of €200 million. The Commission concluded that the scheme is compatible with EU state aid rules under the Railway Guidelines. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.48759.