State Aid Law Blog

State Aid Uncovered Blog

On a weekly basis Phedon Nicolaides posts critical analysis pieces on the latest State aid judgments and decisions on his blog State Aid Uncovered. Each article presents the main points of a court ruling or Commission‘s decision, places them in the context of similar case law or practice, assesses the underlying reasoning, and identifies any inconsistencies or contradictions.
Occasional guest blog posts by other State aid experts complement the State aid knowledge hub.

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Professor at Maastricht University; Professor at University of Nicosia, and Academic Director at Lexxion Training

Guest State Aid Blog ×

Structural Disadvantages and Regional Aid

Aid that seeks to neutralise a structural disadvantage still confers an advantage. Aid that seeks to remedy market failure is selective. State aid that is compatible with the internal market must be necessary to achieve an objective of the Treaty and be capable of incentivising a change in the behaviour of the recipient undertakings.   Introduction On 13 December 2017, […]

i) Transfer of State Resources, ii) Non-recovery of Incompatible Aid, iii) Primacy of Agricultural Policy over Competition Policy

Private resources that come under the control of a public authority become state resources. The only defence for not recovering incompatible aid is absolute impossibility. Agricultural policy objectives take precedence over those of competition policy. Introduction This article reviews a case involving transfer of state resources and a case concerning failure to recovery of incompatible State aid. It also draws […]

Who is Aided when a Bank is Resolved?

Bank resolution may involve State aid. However, the depositors do not normally benefit from State aid, nor do the buyers of the viable assets, if they pay a market price. Any aid normally goes to the remaining, non-performing, assets that are eventually liquidated.   Introduction The new bank resolution regime that came into force on 1 January 2016 aims to […]

In Brief: Case T-58/13, Club Hotel Loutraki AE and Others v Commission (judgment of 08.01.2015)

On Thursday the 8th January the GC dismissed all four pleas in the action for annulment of the Commission Decision finding that the exclusive rights granted to operate 35 000 Video Lottery Terminals and 13 games of chance were not State aid.   The case is can be accessed here (English and French versions currently available) and the press release here.Background to the […]

A Textbook Case of i) How to Sell Public Assets without Passing on Incompatible State Aid to the Buyer, and ii) How to Work together with the Commission

An undertaking that has received incompatible State aid must pay it back or, if it cannot, it must be liquidated. Before a recipient of possibly incompatible State aid is liquidated, its assets can be sold off to the highest bidder. The buyer of previously subsidised assets does not benefit from State aid if i) it pays a market price and […]

A JESSICA-Funded Public-Private Partnership

Public funding of a public-private partnership for the construction and maintenance of public schools may still involve State Aid. State Aid may have an incentive effect even when it is granted to a project that has already started. The funding gap method can demonstrate the necessity and proportionality of State Aid. Introduction   This article reviews Commission Decision SA.37168 concerning the construction […]

Why Can the Commission Not be Consistent in its Analysis of Economic Activity and Affectation of Trade?

Introduction If you ask a national official who deals with State aid to identify the most challenging aspects of working with State aid rules, the answer is likely to be “the concept of undertaking” and the “effect on trade”. Other aspects can also be challenging, but a national official is unlikely to agonise about the transfer of state resources, the […]

The Confusion between Necessity and Proportionality of State Aid [Case SA.35738: Public Funding of Port Infrastructure]

Introduction Several postings in this blog have examined cases concerning funding of port, airport or sport infrastructure. These cases have all had interesting peculiarities. Some involved no state aid because public authorities acted as private investors, while in other cases the funding arrangements were designed in such a way so that the state aid to operators would not spill over […]

Guest State Aid Blog ×

Structural Disadvantages and Regional Aid

Aid that seeks to neutralise a structural disadvantage still confers an advantage. Aid that seeks to remedy market failure is selective. State aid that is compatible with the internal market must be necessary to achieve an objective of the Treaty and be capable of incentivising a change in the behaviour of the recipient undertakings.   Introduction On 13 December 2017, […]

i) Transfer of State Resources, ii) Non-recovery of Incompatible Aid, iii) Primacy of Agricultural Policy over Competition Policy

Private resources that come under the control of a public authority become state resources. The only defence for not recovering incompatible aid is absolute impossibility. Agricultural policy objectives take precedence over those of competition policy. Introduction This article reviews a case involving transfer of state resources and a case concerning failure to recovery of incompatible State aid. It also draws […]

Who is Aided when a Bank is Resolved?

Bank resolution may involve State aid. However, the depositors do not normally benefit from State aid, nor do the buyers of the viable assets, if they pay a market price. Any aid normally goes to the remaining, non-performing, assets that are eventually liquidated.   Introduction The new bank resolution regime that came into force on 1 January 2016 aims to […]

In Brief: Case T-58/13, Club Hotel Loutraki AE and Others v Commission (judgment of 08.01.2015)

On Thursday the 8th January the GC dismissed all four pleas in the action for annulment of the Commission Decision finding that the exclusive rights granted to operate 35 000 Video Lottery Terminals and 13 games of chance were not State aid.   The case is can be accessed here (English and French versions currently available) and the press release here.Background to the […]

A Textbook Case of i) How to Sell Public Assets without Passing on Incompatible State Aid to the Buyer, and ii) How to Work together with the Commission

An undertaking that has received incompatible State aid must pay it back or, if it cannot, it must be liquidated. Before a recipient of possibly incompatible State aid is liquidated, its assets can be sold off to the highest bidder. The buyer of previously subsidised assets does not benefit from State aid if i) it pays a market price and […]

A JESSICA-Funded Public-Private Partnership

Public funding of a public-private partnership for the construction and maintenance of public schools may still involve State Aid. State Aid may have an incentive effect even when it is granted to a project that has already started. The funding gap method can demonstrate the necessity and proportionality of State Aid. Introduction   This article reviews Commission Decision SA.37168 concerning the construction […]

Why Can the Commission Not be Consistent in its Analysis of Economic Activity and Affectation of Trade?

Introduction If you ask a national official who deals with State aid to identify the most challenging aspects of working with State aid rules, the answer is likely to be “the concept of undertaking” and the “effect on trade”. Other aspects can also be challenging, but a national official is unlikely to agonise about the transfer of state resources, the […]

The Confusion between Necessity and Proportionality of State Aid [Case SA.35738: Public Funding of Port Infrastructure]

Introduction Several postings in this blog have examined cases concerning funding of port, airport or sport infrastructure. These cases have all had interesting peculiarities. Some involved no state aid because public authorities acted as private investors, while in other cases the funding arrangements were designed in such a way so that the state aid to operators would not spill over […]

Guest State Aid Blog ×

Structural Disadvantages and Regional Aid

Aid that seeks to neutralise a structural disadvantage still confers an advantage. Aid that seeks to remedy market failure is selective. State aid that is compatible with the internal market must be necessary to achieve an objective of the Treaty and be capable of incentivising a change in the behaviour of the recipient undertakings.   Introduction On 13 December 2017, […]

i) Transfer of State Resources, ii) Non-recovery of Incompatible Aid, iii) Primacy of Agricultural Policy over Competition Policy

Private resources that come under the control of a public authority become state resources. The only defence for not recovering incompatible aid is absolute impossibility. Agricultural policy objectives take precedence over those of competition policy. Introduction This article reviews a case involving transfer of state resources and a case concerning failure to recovery of incompatible State aid. It also draws […]

Who is Aided when a Bank is Resolved?

Bank resolution may involve State aid. However, the depositors do not normally benefit from State aid, nor do the buyers of the viable assets, if they pay a market price. Any aid normally goes to the remaining, non-performing, assets that are eventually liquidated.   Introduction The new bank resolution regime that came into force on 1 January 2016 aims to […]

In Brief: Case T-58/13, Club Hotel Loutraki AE and Others v Commission (judgment of 08.01.2015)

On Thursday the 8th January the GC dismissed all four pleas in the action for annulment of the Commission Decision finding that the exclusive rights granted to operate 35 000 Video Lottery Terminals and 13 games of chance were not State aid.   The case is can be accessed here (English and French versions currently available) and the press release here.Background to the […]

A Textbook Case of i) How to Sell Public Assets without Passing on Incompatible State Aid to the Buyer, and ii) How to Work together with the Commission

An undertaking that has received incompatible State aid must pay it back or, if it cannot, it must be liquidated. Before a recipient of possibly incompatible State aid is liquidated, its assets can be sold off to the highest bidder. The buyer of previously subsidised assets does not benefit from State aid if i) it pays a market price and […]

A JESSICA-Funded Public-Private Partnership

Public funding of a public-private partnership for the construction and maintenance of public schools may still involve State Aid. State Aid may have an incentive effect even when it is granted to a project that has already started. The funding gap method can demonstrate the necessity and proportionality of State Aid. Introduction   This article reviews Commission Decision SA.37168 concerning the construction […]

Why Can the Commission Not be Consistent in its Analysis of Economic Activity and Affectation of Trade?

Introduction If you ask a national official who deals with State aid to identify the most challenging aspects of working with State aid rules, the answer is likely to be “the concept of undertaking” and the “effect on trade”. Other aspects can also be challenging, but a national official is unlikely to agonise about the transfer of state resources, the […]

The Confusion between Necessity and Proportionality of State Aid [Case SA.35738: Public Funding of Port Infrastructure]

Introduction Several postings in this blog have examined cases concerning funding of port, airport or sport infrastructure. These cases have all had interesting peculiarities. Some involved no state aid because public authorities acted as private investors, while in other cases the funding arrangements were designed in such a way so that the state aid to operators would not spill over […]

How to Submit a Blog Post

Do you want to share your analysis of a State aid law topic? We invite you to submit your post on, for example: recent European, national or international judgments or legislation with relevance to EU State aid law; new developments, publications, hot topics in EU State aid law. The recommended length of the post is 500-2,000 words incl. references (endnotes). Your analysis will be published under the category ‘Guest State Aid Blog’.

Here’s how you can publish a post on the Blog as a guest author:

Step 1: Submit your draft to Nelly Stratieva at stratieva@lexxion.eu.

Step 2: We at Lexxion will review your draft to make sure its content and quality fit the blog. If needed, they will suggest what improvements you should make.

Step 3: Once your draft has been finalised and accepted, we will publish your post.

Submit your guest blog post

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