ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
According to Italy, "The objective of the Marebonus Scheme is to encourage a modal shift of freight from road to coastal and short sea shipping transport by sustaining the intermodal chain and thus to generate environmental and wider social benefits from reduced lorry journeys on the road network. [The] Marebonus Scheme provides grants towards operating costs for
new and upgrade of existing coastal and short sea shipping services [...] The scheme has been allocated an overall budget of EUR 138.4 million, distributed as follows: EUR 45.4 million for 2016, EUR 44.1 million for 2017 and EUR 48.9 million for 2018." (para. 3, 5 and 9 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 06.02.2017)
Based on the findings of the European Commission, the "Support by the Italian authorities of costal and short-sea shipping may distort or threaten to distort competition between the undertakings providing costal and short-sea freight transport services and competitors offering freight transport services by other modes. In addition, short-sea shipping is a liberalised market at EU level. When aid granted by a Member State strengthens the position of an undertaking compared with other undertakings competing in intra-EU trade, the latter must be regarded as affected by that aid." (para. 40 and 41 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 06.02.2017)
In the GTA database, the determination of whether a policy instrument discriminates against foreign commercial interests turns on whether it creates or alters the relative treatment of domestic firms versus foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory because the state aid is not available to competing firms outside of the implementing jurisdiction.
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