Official Journal of the European Union

C 190/30

Action brought on 30 June 2006 — Sviluppo Italia Basilicata v Commission

(Case T-176/06)

(2006/C 190/55)

Language of the case: Italian


Applicant: Sviluppo Italia Basilicata S.p.A. (Potenza, Italy) (represented by: Francesco Sciaudone, lawyer)

Defendant: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought by the applicant

that the Court of First Instance should annul Decision C(2006) of the European Commission of 20 April 2006

that the Court should order the Commission to pay the costs

Pleas in law and main arguments

The decision challenged in this action has brought about a considerable financial correction in the assistance of EUR 5 600 000 granted by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the overall subsidy BIC Basilicata in order to put into action measures to encourage small and medium-sized undertakings operating in the Regione Basilicata, in the sphere of the Community framework of support for the Objective 1 regions in Italy. In particular, measure 2 of the overall subsidy provided for the setting up of a venture capital fund for the distribution of financial assistance in the shape of holdings of share capital, shareholders' loans and convertible debenture stock in favour of undertakings situated in Basilicata or intending to set up in that region.

In support of its claims, the applicant alleges:

that the contested decision is completely wanting any legal and factual grounds, in so far as the defendant considers, in point of fact, that there has in the circumstances been no actual fall in the assistance provided by the Fund, in that less than 3 % of the ERDF's funds has been used to take up shares in undertakings (requirement of usefulness). On this head, the applicant maintains that that condition was not provided for either by the rules applicable to the circumstances of the case, contained in the decision awarding the aid, or by the general rules on structural funds. As a result, the Commission could not lawfully conclude that there existed irregularities within the meaning of Article 24 of Regulation No 4253/88, relying on the requirement of usefulness

contravention of Decision 97/322/EC, for want of taking into consideration and misinterpretation of paragraph C of data-sheet 19. Here, the applicant considers that the defendant has failed to take into account, in the contested decision, on the one hand, the distinction between ‘commitment’ and ‘expenditure’ and, on the other, the provisions in the data-sheet relating to the duration of the Fund, and also the provisions laid down in the draft overall subsidy which formed an integral part of that decision approving the aid, and determined the actual duration of that particular assistance at ten years

failure to comply with the procedures laid down by the Agreement, Article 25 of Regulation No 4253/88 or Article 26 of Regulation No 2082/93 in the finding of irregularities.

The applicant, at the end of its application, also alleges breach of the principles of the protection of legitimate expectations, of legal certainty, of proportionality and of the requirement to state reasons.