On 24 November 2016, the European Commission decided not to raise objections against the second installment of the "Ferrobus" subsidy scheme for combined transport. The new scheme has an annual budget of 20 million EUR for the years 2016-2018, with a possibility to be extended until 2020.



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 01 Jan 2016 | Removal date: 31 Dec 2018

Financial grant

According to Italy, "In 2010-2011, for a period of one year, Italy applied the first Ferrobonus scheme. The notified measure aims to address the structural imbalances between road and rail freight transportation in Italy. The scheme has the following purposes: strengthen the intermodal transport chain in Italy and develop the modal shift of freight traffic from road to rail, the ultimate objective being to reduce the environmental, health and social impact of road traffic by promoting the development of combined transport and optimising its use on the Italian territory. [...] The scheme could be allocated a maximum annual budget of EUR 30 million. However, at this stage the financial availability stated in the Italian Financial Act is EUR 20 million per year for a period of three years. [...] The scheme may have however a total duration of maximum five years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020) and its application begins upon publication of the implementing decree following the approval of the scheme by the Commission." (para. 3, 5, 13 and 14 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 8.02.2017)

Based on the findings of the European Commission, the scheme "is liable to distort competition and affect trade between Member States since it concerns rail freight markets which have been liberalised by Union law." (para. 47 letter from the EC to Italy, Brussels 8.02.2017)

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.