ANNOUNCEMENT 20 Apr 2016
On 23 September 2016, the European Commission approved the evaluation plan of a tax credit scheme for regional investment aid in Southern Italy notified by the Italian government in April 2016. The scheme has a maximum annual budget of 617 million EUR for the years 2016-2019.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
European Commission case summary (SA.45184)
European Commission letter to Italy, 24.10.2016
According to Italy, "the main focus of the scheme is the stimulation of investment activity in new assets in structurally weaker regions. [...] The main idea behind this support measure to undertakings is to bridge the growth and development gap between these regions and the rest of the country. The specific objective of the scheme is to increase the investment in new instrumental assets, with secondary goals concerning labour demand and productivity growth. [...] The scheme provides regional investment aid in certain assisted areas in Italy
included in the Italian Regional Aid Map 2014-2020. [...] The maximum annual budget of the scheme is EUR 617 million. The proposed duration of the aid scheme is from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019." (para. 6, 7 and 8 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 24.10.2016)
Under EU state aid rules, due to the amount of monies allocated to this scheme and its likely effect on trade and competition within the EU, prolongation of a scheme of this nature requires putting in place an evaluation plan. Essentially, the European Commission, through its letter to Italy, has approved the proposed evaluation plan.
Based on the findings of the European Commission, "The Commission notes that the evaluation plan includes also suitable analyses focused on the performance of beneficiaries' competitors and on proportionality and adequacy." (para. 49 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 24.10.2016)
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.