Daily News 07 / 08 / 2023

NextGenerationEU: Italy submits request to revise its recovery and resilience plan and add a REPowerEU chapter

Today, Italy submitted a request to the Commission to modify its recovery and resilience plan, to which it also wants to add a REPowerEU chapter.

Italy's proposed REPowerEU chapter includes various reforms, including in the development of renewable energy, the boosting of green skills in both the public and private sector, the tackling of environmentally harmful subsidies, and the improvement of biomethane production. The chapter also includes three main areas comprising several investments, notably related to the enhancement of energy grids, energy efficiency and strategic supply chains.

Italy has proposed to revise 144 investments and reforms related to the six thematic areas of the plan (the so-called ‘missions'). They concern digitalisation and competitiveness, the ecological transition, sustainable mobility, education and research, inclusion and cohesion, and health.

Italy's request to modify its plan is primarily based on the need to factor in recent global headwinds such as high inflation and supply chain constraints.

Italy's allocation under the REPowerEU chapter in terms of new grants is €2.76 billion. Italy has not proposed to transfer funds from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) to its recovery and resilience plan.

The Commission will now assess whether the modified plan still fulfils the assessment criteria outlined in the RRF Regulation. If the Commission's assessment is positive, it will make a proposal for an amended Council Implementing Decision to reflect the changes to the Italian plan. The Council will then have up to four weeks to endorse the Commission's assessment.

More information on the process concerning REPowerEU chapters and the revision of recovery and resilience plans can be found in this Q&A.

(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 2 298 70 24; Laura Bérard — Tel.: + 32 229 55721).


Extreme weather conditions: EU mobilises assistance for Slovenia and Cyprus

On Sunday, both Slovenia and Cyprus activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism due to the floods and wildfires that are affecting these countries.

In response to Slovenia's request for assistance to deal with flood damage, France is sending two excavators with engineering units, and Germany will be sending two prefabricated bridges, two excavators and respective personnel. The EU's Copernicus satellite mapping has so far produced several maps of the affected areas and a Liaison Officer from the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is already on site.  According to the Slovenian authorities, this is the worst flood situation recorded in the country in recent history. Casualties have been confirmed, and thousands had to leave their homes to escape the floods, while severe weather conditions are persisting and rivers are overflowing across the country.

Following a request submitted by Cyprus to help the country fight devastating fires on the island, the EU is mobilising two Canadair firefighting airplanes from the EU's Civil Protection Pool stationed in Greece. Greece is also sending 20 tonnes of liquid retardant via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU stands ready to mobilise further help both countries.

Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, said “In the wake of devastating floods in Slovenia and relentless wildfires in Cyprus, the EU is working around the clock to channel emergency assistance. I thank Germany and France for their quick response and call on the entire European civil protection community to respond to this overwhelming disaster affecting the country. We also stand ready to mobilise the full range of EU recovery and support tools. I also wish to thank Greece for its immediate emergency assistance to wildfires in Cyprus. This is EU solidarity at its best.”

(For more information: Miriam Garcia Ferrer - Tel.: +32 2 295 61 08; Daniel Puglisi - Tel.: +32 2 296 91 40)


Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Gruppo Florence by Permira

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control of Gruppo Florence S.p.A. of Italy by Permira Holdings Limited (‘Permira') of Guernsey.

Gruppo Florence is active in the development and production of high-end apparel, footwear and leather goods for luxury brands. Permira manages private equity funds, which include portfolio companies active across the consumer, services, healthcare and technology sectors. Permira controls, amongst others, the companies: (i) Golden Goose S.p.A, active in retail sale of luxury shoes, apparel and leather accessories; and (ii) Italian Fashion Team S.r.l., active in the manufacture of luxury apparel, footwear and leather goods.

The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the limited horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the companies' activities in the European Economic Area. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.11185.

(For more information: Arianna Podesta – Tel.: +32 2 298 70 24; Marta Pérez-Cejuela – Tel.: +32 229 63770)




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Note that these items can be subject to changes.


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