Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

Brussels, 31 October 2022

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €512 million Italian measure to compensate Poste Italiane for setting up and upgrading digital services in its post office network in small municipalities in Italy. The scheme is part of Italy’s National Plan for Complementary Investments that will supplement the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan with national resources. The aim of the measure is to provide new digital public administration services to citizens and companies in small municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants, thereby filling the digital gap of those areas, boosting economic growth and entrepreneurial development, and improving the business and consumer environment.

The measure will support the installation and/or the upgrade of (i) ATMs, (ii) self-service stations for access to digital public services, and (iii) interactive screens and front desks in the targeted offices of Poste Italiane. Under the measure, which will run until 31 December 2026, the support will take the form of a direct grant and will cover the development costs. This follows two Italian measures to support Poste Italiane in (i) the deployment of recharging infrastructure and (ii) the creation of co-working spaces, which the Commission approved on 5 October 2022 and on 19 October 2022 respectively.

The three measures are part of a broader project (“Progetto Polis”) that will enable Poste Italiane to deliver a variety of services to the population of small municipalities and remote areas in Italy. The Commission assessed the measure under the EU State aid rules, and in particular under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which enables Member States to support the development of certain economic activities subject to certain conditions. The Commission found that the measure is necessary and appropriate to improve digital access and simplify digital public administration in the targeted areas. Moreover, the measure is proportional as it is limited to the minimum necessary, and has a limited impact on competition and trade between Member States. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under case number SA.104539 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. 

Source – EU Commission

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