The European Commission has approved a €260 million Italian scheme to support companies active in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework (TCF), adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022 and amended on 20 July 2022. This measure follows a €50m scheme to support the agricultural, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the same region that the Commission approved in April 2022.

The measure will be open to companies of all sizes having an operative branch in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, with the exception of the financial, agriculture, fishery, aquaculture and forestry sectors, which have already received aid. The measure aims at reducing the risk of economic disruption faced by these companies, which are heavily affected by the socio-economic effects of the current geopolitical crisis.

Friuli Venezia Giulia is in the far northeast of Italy and borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to its east. Although it relies heavily on tourism and agriculture, the region also boasts world-leading shipbuilding and insurance sectors.

Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of: limited amounts of aid; liquidity support in the form of guarantees; liquidity support in the form of subsidised loans; and aid for additional costs due to exceptionally severe increases in natural gas and electricity prices.

The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the TCF. In particular: the individual aid amount per beneficiary will not exceed the ceilings of the TCF, and that the public support will be granted by 31 December 2022 at the latest.

The Commission therefore concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate, and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the TCF.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules.