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.

Join the debate now!

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

- Economic activity ×

Undertakings May also Carry out Non-economic Activities

Introduction An undertaking is any entity that carries out economic activities regardless of how it is classified in national law or how it is financed. The General Court, in its judgment of 20 December 2023, in case T-166/21, Autorità di sistema portuale del Mar Ligure occidentale v European Commission, also clarified that if an undertaking also carries out tasks assigned […]

The Concept of Undertaking and Land Valuation

Introduction Must an entity that acquires an asset but does not exploit it commercially not be regarded as an undertaking? This was one of two questions that the Court of Justice had to answer on 19 October 2023, in case C-325/22, TS & HI. The answer was no. The second question was how to value land. The answer to that […]

The Non-economic Nature of a Public Health System and Regional Development

Introduction This article reviews two judgments: On a public health system and on regional development through capital injections. I. Public health system On 27 April 2023, the Court of Justice rendered its judgment in case C-492/21 P, Casa Regina Apostolorum della Pia Società delle Figlie di San Paolo v European Commission.[1] Casa Regina Apostolorum della Pia Società delle Figlie di […]

A Rare Commission Decision on SGEI Interpreting Decision 2012/21

A non-profit provider of free services which are in competition with similar services on the market is an undertaking. Introduction The decentralisation of State aid policy of the past decade has made it easier for the Member States to achieve their public policy objectives. By using blog exemption regulations and decisions, they can grant State aid faster, without having to […]

How to Determine Selectivity

A measure is selective when it excludes undertakings that are equally capable of contributing to the achievement of its objectives. Introduction Since no two undertakings are exactly the same, how can it be determined whether they are in a comparable situation? Differences in their features such as size or the type of technology they use do not necessarily mean that […]

Funding of Public Hospitals

Public healthcare provided in accordance with the principle of social solidarity is not economic in nature. Introduction There are two sectors where economic and non-economic activities mix and cause potential State aid problems: healthcare and education. Healthcare and education provided by public institutions do not differ much from healthcare and education provided by private institutions. The critical difference is not […]

2019 Competition Report

The Annual Competition Report is a useful document, but it should provide more information on the results of the ex post evaluations and ex post monitoring. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published COVID-19 measures, as of 10 July 2020: 202* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 20; Article 107(3)(b): 171; Article 107(3)(c): 17 Six Member States have implemented 11 […]

Non-economic Activities, Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible Aid and the Powers of National Courts

This article reviews three judgments that were all rendered on 15 September 2016. The first two concern the concept of economic activity. The third is about the rights of national courts to consider the correctness of Commission decisions. The Court of Justice has said clearly that national courts may not question Commission decisions.   Economic activity The first two cases […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part I – Economic Activities & State Resources

The Notice provides a thorough review of the case law and the decisional practice of the Commission.   Introduction After more than two years of deliberations, the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid was published in the Official Journal on 19 July 2016.[1] The Notice presents “the Commission’s understanding of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, as interpreted by the […]

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 […]

- Economic activity ×

Undertakings May also Carry out Non-economic Activities

Introduction An undertaking is any entity that carries out economic activities regardless of how it is classified in national law or how it is financed. The General Court, in its judgment of 20 December 2023, in case T-166/21, Autorità di sistema portuale del Mar Ligure occidentale v European Commission, also clarified that if an undertaking also carries out tasks assigned […]

The Concept of Undertaking and Land Valuation

Introduction Must an entity that acquires an asset but does not exploit it commercially not be regarded as an undertaking? This was one of two questions that the Court of Justice had to answer on 19 October 2023, in case C-325/22, TS & HI. The answer was no. The second question was how to value land. The answer to that […]

The Non-economic Nature of a Public Health System and Regional Development

Introduction This article reviews two judgments: On a public health system and on regional development through capital injections. I. Public health system On 27 April 2023, the Court of Justice rendered its judgment in case C-492/21 P, Casa Regina Apostolorum della Pia Società delle Figlie di San Paolo v European Commission.[1] Casa Regina Apostolorum della Pia Società delle Figlie di […]

A Rare Commission Decision on SGEI Interpreting Decision 2012/21

A non-profit provider of free services which are in competition with similar services on the market is an undertaking. Introduction The decentralisation of State aid policy of the past decade has made it easier for the Member States to achieve their public policy objectives. By using blog exemption regulations and decisions, they can grant State aid faster, without having to […]

How to Determine Selectivity

A measure is selective when it excludes undertakings that are equally capable of contributing to the achievement of its objectives. Introduction Since no two undertakings are exactly the same, how can it be determined whether they are in a comparable situation? Differences in their features such as size or the type of technology they use do not necessarily mean that […]

Funding of Public Hospitals

Public healthcare provided in accordance with the principle of social solidarity is not economic in nature. Introduction There are two sectors where economic and non-economic activities mix and cause potential State aid problems: healthcare and education. Healthcare and education provided by public institutions do not differ much from healthcare and education provided by private institutions. The critical difference is not […]

2019 Competition Report

The Annual Competition Report is a useful document, but it should provide more information on the results of the ex post evaluations and ex post monitoring. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published COVID-19 measures, as of 10 July 2020: 202* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 20; Article 107(3)(b): 171; Article 107(3)(c): 17 Six Member States have implemented 11 […]

Non-economic Activities, Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible Aid and the Powers of National Courts

This article reviews three judgments that were all rendered on 15 September 2016. The first two concern the concept of economic activity. The third is about the rights of national courts to consider the correctness of Commission decisions. The Court of Justice has said clearly that national courts may not question Commission decisions.   Economic activity The first two cases […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part I – Economic Activities & State Resources

The Notice provides a thorough review of the case law and the decisional practice of the Commission.   Introduction After more than two years of deliberations, the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid was published in the Official Journal on 19 July 2016.[1] The Notice presents “the Commission’s understanding of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, as interpreted by the […]

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 […]

- Economic activity ×

Undertakings May also Carry out Non-economic Activities

Introduction An undertaking is any entity that carries out economic activities regardless of how it is classified in national law or how it is financed. The General Court, in its judgment of 20 December 2023, in case T-166/21, Autorità di sistema portuale del Mar Ligure occidentale v European Commission, also clarified that if an undertaking also carries out tasks assigned […]

The Concept of Undertaking and Land Valuation

Introduction Must an entity that acquires an asset but does not exploit it commercially not be regarded as an undertaking? This was one of two questions that the Court of Justice had to answer on 19 October 2023, in case C-325/22, TS & HI. The answer was no. The second question was how to value land. The answer to that […]

The Non-economic Nature of a Public Health System and Regional Development

Introduction This article reviews two judgments: On a public health system and on regional development through capital injections. I. Public health system On 27 April 2023, the Court of Justice rendered its judgment in case C-492/21 P, Casa Regina Apostolorum della Pia Società delle Figlie di San Paolo v European Commission.[1] Casa Regina Apostolorum della Pia Società delle Figlie di […]

A Rare Commission Decision on SGEI Interpreting Decision 2012/21

A non-profit provider of free services which are in competition with similar services on the market is an undertaking. Introduction The decentralisation of State aid policy of the past decade has made it easier for the Member States to achieve their public policy objectives. By using blog exemption regulations and decisions, they can grant State aid faster, without having to […]

How to Determine Selectivity

A measure is selective when it excludes undertakings that are equally capable of contributing to the achievement of its objectives. Introduction Since no two undertakings are exactly the same, how can it be determined whether they are in a comparable situation? Differences in their features such as size or the type of technology they use do not necessarily mean that […]

Funding of Public Hospitals

Public healthcare provided in accordance with the principle of social solidarity is not economic in nature. Introduction There are two sectors where economic and non-economic activities mix and cause potential State aid problems: healthcare and education. Healthcare and education provided by public institutions do not differ much from healthcare and education provided by private institutions. The critical difference is not […]

2019 Competition Report

The Annual Competition Report is a useful document, but it should provide more information on the results of the ex post evaluations and ex post monitoring. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published COVID-19 measures, as of 10 July 2020: 202* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 20; Article 107(3)(b): 171; Article 107(3)(c): 17 Six Member States have implemented 11 […]

Non-economic Activities, Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible Aid and the Powers of National Courts

This article reviews three judgments that were all rendered on 15 September 2016. The first two concern the concept of economic activity. The third is about the rights of national courts to consider the correctness of Commission decisions. The Court of Justice has said clearly that national courts may not question Commission decisions.   Economic activity The first two cases […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part I – Economic Activities & State Resources

The Notice provides a thorough review of the case law and the decisional practice of the Commission.   Introduction After more than two years of deliberations, the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid was published in the Official Journal on 19 July 2016.[1] The Notice presents “the Commission’s understanding of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, as interpreted by the […]

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 […]

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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