Brussels, 2 August 2022
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a € 350 million Italian scheme to support the deployment of logistic platforms in the agricultural sector. The scheme will be funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (‘RRF’), following the Commission’s positive assessment of the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan and its adoption by Council. The aim of the scheme is to encourage farms and companies processing and marketing agricultural products to deploy logistic platforms, such as storage facility and management software, to improve their processing and marketing structures. Under the scheme, the support will take the form of direct grants or loans with reduced interest rates. The maximum aid amount per project will be €12 million. The scheme will run until 30 June 2026. The Commission assessed the scheme under EU State aid rules, and in particular under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities under certain conditions, and the Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas. The Commission found that the scheme is necessary and appropriate to ensure a sustainable growth of the agricultural sector. Furthermore, the Commission found that the measure is proportionate and that any negative effects on competition and trade in the EU will be limited in view of the size of the projects, the aid amounts and the characteristics of the sector. In addition, the Commission found that the aid will have an ‘incentive effect’ as the beneficiaries would not carry out the same investments in the absence of the public support. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. The Commission assesses measures entailing State aid contained in the national recovery and resilience plans presented in the context of the RRF as a matter of priority and has provided guidance and support to Member States in the preparatory phases of the national plans, to facilitate the rapid deployment of the RRF. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.103354 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
Source – EU Commission