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European Commission validates €120m state aid for Spanish carriers


Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, March 22nd 2022 à 16:05 | Read 333 times



Spain to promote rail freight (photo: Comsa Emte)
Spain to promote rail freight (photo: Comsa Emte)
SPAIN. On Monday 21 March 2022, the European Commission authorised a Spanish state aid scheme to encourage the transfer of freight transport from road to rail.

The €120 million measure will be financed entirely by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), following validation of the Spanish Recovery and Resilience Plan by the European Commission in June 2021 and subsequently by the European Council.

The aid will be paid in "the form of direct subsidies to compensate freight companies for the cost difference between road and rail transport, based on volumes of freight shifted from road to rail", the European Commission said in a statement. "To encourage freight companies to switch to rail, the concrete amounts of aid per beneficiary will depend on the increase in rail freight traffic in the previous year," the institution added.

Decongesting the roads

The scheme will apply until 30 June 2026 to all companies established in the European Union with all the necessary licences (including the single safety certificate).

In taking this positive decision, the European Commission took into account that this Spanish scheme would be "beneficial for the environment and mobility, as it supports transport by rail, which is less polluting than transport by road, while at the same time helping to relieve road congestion". It is therefore fully in line with "the objectives of the Green Pact for Europe", says Margrethe Vestager.

The executive vice-president of the European Commission in charge of competition policy also notes the "limitation of possible distortions of competition". Moreover, in its conclusions, the Commission notes that this aid is limited "to the compensation of the difference in costs between road and rail transport, and will therefore not have any unwanted negative effects on competition and trade in the EU".  



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