Tirrenia: infringement proceedings closed

The European Commission has closed the infringement proceedings concerning the renewal, without call for tender after 2008, of the services contracts of the ex-flag carrier Tirrenia.

Italian contributors, therefore, do not have to pay any sanction because of the fact that the State did not conform its legislation to the European one concerning public procurements of the regional ferry services.

Although the infringement proceedings was officially opened in 2012, it was started at least two years before. Brussels contested Italy to have automatically extended, at the end of 2008, and without any call for tender, the services contracts between the State and the regional companies controlled by Tirrenia.

The interested societies were Toremar, Caremar and Saremar, not Siremar, because, during the privatization of Tirrenia, it was not given to the competent Regions, but directly sold.

After the transferring to the Regions, the three companies have been privatized, and, with their disposal through a call for tenders, they were assigned multiannual subvention contracts associated to the services of territorial continuity. Therefore, the Commission decided to archive the proceedings without any fee.

Nevertheless, at least two of the investigations started by the DG Competition of the Commission for what concerns State aids granted to Tirrenia and to its controlled companies before the privatization are still open. However, this kind of investigation does not cause, like the infringement proceedings, fees to be borne by the State, but only recovery proceedings of the undue payments given to the society.


Pietro Michea