The European Commission has approved aid of €5.64m (US$6.56m) planned by Sicily for various types of action (investment, information, promotion) in connection with citrus cultivation.

“This decision will enable Sicily to foster the rapid progress of a sector that is important to its economy,” said Franz Fischler, Commissioner of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.

In 2001 the Commission opened a scrutiny procedure for the planned aid because the national citrus cultivation plan for Sicily had not yet been completed. The Commission said it was therefore unable to be certain that the aid was compatible with the common market. The Commission said that it has now completed its examination and has been able to approve the national citrus cultivation plan.