EC APPROVES €15 MILLION AID TO PROMOTE RAIL FREIGHT IN SLOVENIA
On 20 October, the European Commission approved, under EU State aid rules, a €15 million Slovenian aid scheme to support rail freight transport in Slovenia. The measure will support single wagon transport and combined transport. Single wagon transport is a form of freight transport, which is smaller and has less capacity than a full train. It requires the switching or shunting of wagons at departure or destination stations and at any intermediate stations. Combined transport, on the other hand, is a form of intermodal transport, where the main part of the transport is carried out by rail, inland waterways or sea and the limited initial and/or final parts are carried out by road.
Under the scheme, which will run until 31 December 2023 and will be open to railway companies, the support will take the form of direct grants. The aid aims at partially covering the external costs avoided, such as accidents, pollution, congestion and climate change. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules and found that the scheme is necessary and proportionate to promote the use of rail transport, which is less polluting than road transport and reduces road congestion. Furthermore, the Commission found that the aid will have an 'incentive effect' as the beneficiaries would not engage in such transport activities in the absence of the public support.
The Commission concluded that the measure will contribute to transport coordination and facilitate the shift of freight transport from road to rail in line with the EU policy objectives, including those set out in the Green Deal, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme line with EU State aid rules.