European Commission opens in-depth State aid investigation into French compensation to maritime transport companies

March 1, 2024

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the public service compensation granted to Corsica Linea and La Méridionale for the provision of maritime transport services to Corsica between 2023 and 2030 is in line with EU State aid rules.

At this stage, based on its preliminary assessment, the Commission considers that additional information is necessary to determine whether the public compensation paid to Corsica Linea and La Méridionale is in line with EU State aid rules, and in particular with the 2012 Service of General Economic Interest (‘SGEI’) Framework.

For this reason, the Commission has decided to open an in-depth investigation to assess whether:

  • The inclusion of transport of towed freight and truck drivers in the contracts is justified by a public service need, given the presence on the market of a commercial offer developed from the neighboring port.
  • The volume of freight traffic to be transported pursuant to the contracts does not exceed the public service need identified by the French authorities.

In addition, additional clarifications are needed to conclude that the contracts comply with EU rules on public procurement.

Source: European Commission