The Commission has approved under EC Treaty state aid rules the regional aid map covering the period 2007-2013 for Italy. This decision closes a wider exercise to review regional aid systems in all Member States in accordance with the new Regional Aid Guidelines adopted in December 2005. The new Guidelines aim at re-focussing regional aid on the most deprived regions of the enlarged EU, while allowing for improved competitiveness. The maps of all other Member States have already been approved by the Commission.

A regional aid map defines the regions of a Member State eligible for national regional investment aid for large enterprises under EC Treaty state aid rules and establishes the maximum permitted levels of such aid in the eligible regions.

Article 87(3)(a) EC Treaty allows aid to promote the economic development of areas with serious underemployment or an abnormally low standard of living. The Regional Guidelines define these types of regions as having a GDP below 75% of the Community average. However, for the so called statistical effect regions (with a GDP higher than 75% of the EU-25 average but lower than 75% of the EU-15 average), a transitional phase until the end of 2010 is foreseen.

Article 87(3)(c) EC Treaty allows aid to facilitate the development of certain economic activities or areas, where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions. The Regional Guidelines define these types of regions as areas of a Member State which are disadvantaged in relation to the national average. As these regions are less disadvantaged than areas covered by Article 87(3)(a), the geographical scope and the aid intensity are strictly limited.

29.2% of the Italian population remain eligible for regional aid under Article 87(3) (a) at a maximum intensity of 40% or 30% (Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicilia).

1% of Italy's population remains eligible for aid as statistical effect region (Basilicata) under Article 87(3) (a) at a maximum intensity of 30% until 31 December 2010. In 2010 the Commission will assess whether the GDP of this region is below 75% of the Community average (EU-25). If this is the case, the aid ceiling will remain at 30%, if not, Basilicata will become eligible under Article 87(3) (c) at an aid ceiling of 20%.

3.9% of Italy's population remain eligible for aid under Article 87(3) (c) at a maximum intensity of 25%, 15% or 10%. A further 5.6% of the population will be eligible for a transitional period until 31 December 2008 at a maximum intensity of 10%. [28 November 2007]