State aid: EU Commission approves €9 million Italian State aid to promote shift of freight transport from road to rail in Genoa following collapse of Morandi bridge

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, Italian aid measures to encourage the shift of freight transport from road to rail in the area of the port of the city of Genoa.

The road and rail infrastructure from and to the port was severely impacted by the collapse of the Morandi bridge in August 2018. The measures, which have an overall budget of €9 million and will run until end 2020, aim at maintaining or increasing the share of freight transported by rail from and to the port of Genoa.

The aid takes the form of a subsidy to logistics companies and multimodal transport operators, with the goal of encouraging the use of rail transport and intermodal solutions in the context of serious infrastructural disruptions to the rail network. Support will also be granted, in the form of a subsidy, to the concessionaire of rail services in the port of Genoa to compensate the additional costs borne due to the infrastructural disruption.

The public support will be provided in relation to rail freight transport services and operations carried out over the 15 months following the collapse of the bridge. The Commission found that the aid is beneficial for the environment, as it supports rail transport and mobility, which is less polluting than road transport, while also decreasing road congestion. This is particularly important in this case due to the severe disruptions in traffic and connectivity experienced by the city of Genoa as a result of the collapse of the Morandi bridge in 2018.

The Commission concluded that the measures comply with EU State aid rules, in particular the 2008 Commission Guidelines on State aid for railway undertakings. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number SA.53615 once confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Arianna Podesta –