The Commission has decided to refer Italy to the ECJ for failure to implement a 2004 ruling by the ECJ confirming a Commission decision of 1999 finding that Italy had granted illegal and incompatible aid and ordering its recovery.  

The illegal aid in question took the form of exemptions from social security contributions in cases where companies could not prove that (a) new jobs had been created or (b) that the hired workers had special difficulties entering or re-entering the employment market. Although over five years have elapsed since this judgement, Italy has still only recovered a small part of the overall aid amount estimated at about €281 million. The Commission has, therefore, now requested the ECJ to impose fines on Italy under Article 228 EC Treaty.  

Please click here to view a copy of the ECJ ruling in Case C-99/02.