In the above table, the EU Commission includes aid communicated by the states that are obliged to do so according to the European Treaties as members of the union therefore where indicated in the table, the zero value means that they did not communicate aid and not that the aid amounted to nothing. The most recently joined members are thus included only after their admission to the Union, and the data for previous years are not reported as there were no notification requirements. As a result, the data relative to the total EU is only shown as of , the year in which a total of In , this figure seemingly reduced to Considering that the total amounts both in the previous and following years were around 8 billion euros, we can estimate that the total payments of the 25 countries in that year amounted to around 52 billion.
In the following year, , total state aid shown in the table was Considering their total amounts, amounting to 6 billion for both countries together, we can estimate that, similarly, in this year total payment exceeded 52 billion. In , the official total is The estimated total for these four countries is 8. Finally, in , the latest year available, the official total amounted to Altogether, it can be estimated that the missing amount is around 17 billion, bringing the Union total to around billion euros, probably higher than the previous year.
Over the six-year period, , total state aid in the Union is estimated at a little less than billion, corresponding to an annual average of around 48 billion. State aid to the railway sector in the EU pre-enlargement The previous data, despite being incomplete, is very interesting and can be assessed for individual countries in comparison to the size of the national rail networks, the number of trains in circulation and the number of passengers and goods carried. Before proceeding with this analysis however, the 10 countries that have recently joined the EU should be excluded, both for their incomplete data over time and for their railway sectors being characterised differently from those of Western European Countries.
Luxembourg, Ireland and Greece should also be excluded due to their small geographical size and limited rail networks. For the remaining 12 countries that we will analyse, it should be noted that in , half of them did not submit notifications for state aid. As a result, it is not possible to accurately reconstruct the missing values, and therefore, pending further updates from the EU Commission, the analysis is limited to the data from The data with a grey background has been estimated based on figures from regulators or the recipient national companies.
The data used is show in Table 2. In this table, four values not reported by the states were estimated on the basis of information available from national regulators or financial statements of the entities concerned. For Italy, the data includes only the payments to companies of the FS group in that year, derived from company accounts.
The result given, therefore, is underestimated as it does not include state aid given to minor railway companies and any transfers made to the FS group in pertaining to different financial years and consequently not reported in the financial accounts.
As show in Table 2, in the 11 years considered, the 12 EU countries have received a total of billion in state aid, equivalent to a The country with the largest amount of subsidies is Germany, with billion in total for this period, followed by France with billion and Italy with 73 billion. In Italy, however, the Countries with sizable networks that have carried out important processes of market liberalisation are far apart in the total ranking of state aid: Great Britain with 58 billion and Sweden with only 13 billion. It is evident that in order to assess the importance of state aid to the railway sector in the different countries, their annual amounts should be compared to the size of the national networks and its traffic.
Italy and Great Britain, for example, have similar networks in terms of lengths between 16 and 17 thousand kilometres and very different subsidies; Germany and France have recorded much larger amounts of aid in absolute value than both Italy and the United Kingdom, but have roughly double the networks: 34 thousand km in Germany and 30 thousand km in France.
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Finally, Spain and Sweden have much lower amounts of aid in absolute value, despite having relatively large networks: 14 thousand km in Spain and 11 thousand km in Sweden. This simple exercise does not seem, however, to have so far been carried out systematically, probably due to difficulty at a Community level in obtaining complete and consistent data on the size and characteristics of the national rail networks and associated traffic.
Graph 6 summarises the weight of Italy on the overall railway sector of the 12 Western EU countries, the object of the study, in relation to certain dimensional aspects of the sector and the total state aid granted. As you can see, the Italian rail network only accounts for State aid in relation to the size of the rail sector For the different countries included in the study, an analysis on state aid to the sector in relation to different dimension aspects is needed: i the total length of the network; ii the total length of the track, these two measures are justified by the fact that subsidies are mostly given to the networks; iii train km circulating on the network variable as data for a larger number of countries is missing ; iv total traffic represented by traffic units that are conventionally given by passenger km plus tonne km of goods.
In order to carry out this analysis, the length of the networks and tracks in the 12 countries have been verified by combining data available from Eurostat, the EU Commission and the UIC and verifying it with that of individual network operators where discrepancies or uncertainties were present. The following graphs show these relationships for each of the 12 countries considered and for the 11 countries together with the exclusion of Italy.
In relation to the extension of the network, the average annual state aid for the past four years has amounted to thousand euros per km of line in Italy compared to an average value for all of the other countries of thousand euros Graph 7. Other major countries in the EU other than Italy UK, FR, DE recorded significantly lower values than outs between and thousand euros per year per km of line; finally, greatly reduced, are the values of Sweden, thousand euros, and Spain, 71 thousand.
Since this data for Italy may be influenced in an anomalous way by the cost of the completion of high-speed lines even if the assumption of 13 million euros of debt until for the AV were not included , we redid the exercise for the entire period, which shows that the average annual aid per km of network over the 11 years was thousand euros in Italy compared to an average value for the other 11 countries of thousand euros Table 3.
All of the other countries total values are significantly less than ours: France and the UK around , Germany , Sweden and Finland and Spain thousand. The EU data excludes Italy. A refinement of the previous analysis is relating the annual subsidies to the railway sector not in terms of network km, but in terms of track km, a relationship that can be considered more accurate than previous years given the apparent correlation between management and construction costs and track lengths and one that is able to avoid distortions in favour of countries that have a number of single-track lines that is lower than average e.
Sweden and Finland and to the detriment of countries that have a number that is above-average e.
Belgium and the Netherlands. In relation to km of track, the average yearly subsidy in the last four years in Italy was thousand euros compared to an average total of thousand for the other 11 countries Graph 8. Even in this case all of the other major EU countries have significantly lower values than that of Italy: France around , the UK , Germany and Sweden The final analysis, in not having enough statistical data in relation to annual train km circulating on the networks, we will examine subsidies in relation to the total traffic of passengers and goods measured by the units of traffic conventionally given by passenger km plus tonne km of goods transported.
Over the four-year period considered, the average annual subsidy per unit of traffic in Italy was In essence, compared to the average behaviour of the other states concerned, around three-fifths of the subsidies granted in Italy were equally distributed, while the remaining two-fifths would remain in public coffers. This proportion, derived from the experience of the four most recent years, can be reasonably extended to the whole period taken into consideration. The effects of excess subsidies on public finance Since Italian public finance granted the rail sector, according to the results of the EU Commission, The public sector would have not only saved this 35 billion euros in state aid, but it would also have spent less in interest on the public debt as a result of borrowing a lower sum to finance railway expenditure.
The costs accumulated by Italian public finance deriving from excess state aid, compared to the European average, given to the Italian railway sector between and are shown in Graph This leads to a total estimated cost of just under 50 billion for Italian public finance. However, this amount is considered underestimated, as it does not include transfers to the rail sector in the three years between , since it was not notified according in accordance with the periodic statistics on state aid published by the EU Commission.
Considering a rough estimate of the latter, the magnitude of the excess rail expenditure in Italy would increase to around 60 billion in total for the period. Concluding Observations This study represents a first attempt at analysing state aid to the railway sector in the Western countries of the European Union, carried out with the aim of assessing the dimensions of aid in relation to the main size variables of the sector, such as the lengths of the networks and tracks and total passenger and freight traffic transported.
Although this is a very simple and preliminary exercise compared to a more complex analysis, it would seem that it has never been done before, probably due to the absence, on a Community level, of comprehensive and reliable data on the length and other features of national rail networks the information and data on the Eurostat database are incomplete and inconsistent.
From the analysis, a highly differentiated situation in Europe emerges: i a group of countries with permanently lower subsidies the Iberians, the Scandinavians and Austria ; ii a group of countries with a medium level of subsidies all of the major countries: Germany, France and the UK ; iii a group of countries with permanently high subsidies Italy, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. These differences cannot be explained by analysing the relevant differences in network characteristics or levels of transport and therefore require important in-depth study in the future.
A consequence of the limited attention paid to state aid to the rail sector is that it is stationary over time in relation to EU GDP, contrasting with the tendency to lower it, which has instead occurred in all of the other remaining sectors and led to its reduction by half and reduced to a quarter in Italy in relation to GDP since the Commission began its systematic monitoring at the start of the 90s. The idea that emerges from the reading of the specific rules and guidelines for the assessment of state aid to the rail sector, together with the severity demonstrated for other sectors and for different types of transport, for example aviation, is that rail transport has so far benefited from weakened forms of application that appear to be motivated: i partly by the need for modal rebalance recognised by national transport policies; ii partly by the natural monopolistic character of the network whose duplication is not economically feasible and thus does not adversely affect competition, at least intermodal, public financial support for construction, maintenance and exercise of the network; iii finally, by the non-competitive traditional structure, from a legal point of view, of even the transport service.
This situation, however, is set to change drastically with the opening up of services to competition, which has already been done in the European Union for the freight sector and in some countries, although only on a voluntary basis, even for the passenger sector.
Today, aid consequently risks being distortive in those countries that have chosen to spontaneously bring forward liberalisation of the national passenger transport sector, however, like Italy, they have failed to remove the high levels of subsidies or at least make their allocation means non-distortive. Now that, at least in some states, the possibility of competition has been legally introduced, does state aid continue to not be detrimental as there is no competition at all? Or is there no competition because state aid given impedes its manifestation and it is therefore the aid that is detrimental?
In monetary terms, this illustrates an excess of 35 billion euros in public transfers in the period, which highlighted an overall cost for public finance of around 50 billion euros if we add the interest charges accrued as a result of financing the aid with public debt. The elevated state aid to the rail sector consequently results in both a major public finance problem and a potential factor of competition distortion in markets such as Italy that have already been legally opened.
La disciplina degli aiuti di stato in Europa risulta complessa Friederiszick, et al. L'Articolo afferma che la Commissione esamina con gli Stati membri i regimi di aiuti esistenti negli Stati stessi. Il Regolamento CE n. Di seguito sono esposti i criteri indicati per la valutazione di ogni tipologia. Sostegno e finanziamento delle infrastrutture Il paragrafo 2. I finanziamenti pubblici per lo sviluppo delle infrastrutture possono costituire un aiuto di Stato.
Secondo la Corte di giustizia occorre valutare se il provvedimento a favore delle infrastrutture sia in grado di generare un alleggerimento degli oneri ordinari che gravano sul bilancio delle imprese ferroviarie. Pertanto, nel rispetto di alcune condizioni le spese per l'acquisto del materiale rotabile si considerano sovvenzionabili. Cancellazione di debiti Questa tipologia si basa sulla considerazione storica che le imprese ferroviarie hanno spesso conosciuto fasi di pesante indebitamento a causa degli investimenti, fenomeno che ancora interessa diversi gestori di rete.
A seguito della direttiva suddetta, la ristrutturazione dei debiti avviene con strumenti differenti. Infatti, in un mercato liberalizzato ed efficiente, il coordinamento avviene ad opera degli operatori. Nonostante questo, in molti casi gli investimenti per lo sviluppo delle infrastrutture continuano ad essere realizzati dal settore pubblico e, anche dopo la liberalizzazione, possono sussistere fallimenti che giustificano un intervento dello Stato.
Garanzie concesse dallo Stato La comunicazione della Commissione sull'applicazione degli articoli 87 e 88 del trattato agli aiuti di Stato concessi sotto forma di garanzie definisce le regole applicabili alle garanzie di Stato anche nel settore del trasporto ferroviario. La comunicazione della Commissione GU C 71 dell' In linea generale, le garanzie concesse in settori relativamente concorrenziali sono incompatibili con il trattato CE. Per queste ragioni essi sono tradizionalmente contabilizzati e pubblicati dalla stessa Commissione in forma separata.
Il totale degli aiuti al settore ferroviario ammonterebbe in conseguenza ad oltre 47 miliardi e il totale generale degli aiuti di stato europei ad oltre miliardi. Come illustrato nel Graf. Il Graf. La Commissione U.
EU- Represents all Member States which the calculation includes as of the year when data were available. Nella tabella precedente la Commissione U. I dati su sfondo grigio sono stati stimati in base a dati dei regolatori o delle imprese nazionali beneficiate. I dati utilizzati sono riportati nella Tab. In essa quattro valori non comunicati dagli Stati sono stati stimati sulla base delle informazioni disponibili dai regolatori nazionali o dai bilanci degli enti interessati.
Si tratta in conseguenza di un dato sottostimato in quanto non include gli aiuti di Stato alle imprese ferroviarie minori ed eventuali trasferimenti al gruppo FS effettuati nel ma di competenza di esercizi diversi e in conseguenza non riportati nel bilancio. Come riportato nella Tab. Risultano invece molto distanziati nella classifica totale degli aiuti di Stato i paesi con reti rilevanti che hanno realizzato importanti processi di liberalizzazione del mercato: la Gran Bretagna con 58 miliardi di euro e la Svezia con soli 13 miliardi di euro.