State aid: Commission approves public support to promote shift of freight transport from road to rail in Saxony-Anhalt (Germany)

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, an aid scheme, as well as individual aid measures to encourage the shift of freight transport from road to rail in the Land of Saxony-Anhalt in Germany. The aid scheme has a budget of € 3 million and will run until 2024. The individual aid measures granted between 2013 and 2018have a total aid amount of about €1.5 million. The support takes the form of direct grants to the owners of private rail infrastructure, to contribute to the costs of construction, upgrade and renovation of track systems, rail connections, and loading and unloading facilities. The Commission found that the scheme and individual aid measurespromote the shift of freight transport from road to rail in Saxony-Anhalt. In particular, the Commission found that the support measures are necessary as otherwise owners of existing private rail freight infrastructure would not have sufficient incentives to carry out investments into such rail infrastructure and would therefore use other more polluting forms of transport.On that basis, the Commission concluded that the scheme and individual aid measures are compatible with EU State aid rules, in particular Article 93 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union regarding transport coordination. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website in the public case register under the case numbers SA.54102 and SA.56001 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.