State Aid Law Blog

State Aid Uncovered by Prof Phedon Nicolaides

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

- Article 107(3)(b) ×

Aid Measures with Limited Beneficiaries

Introduction During the covid-19 pandemic Member States granted State aid to undertakings they considered important for their economies or for maintaining their connectivity with the rest of the world. Ryanair appealed against multiple Commission decisions authorising that aid. Ryanair succeeded in some of its challenges on technical issues. It lost all other cases on issues of principle. On 6 June […]

Member States May Grant State Aid to Single Beneficiaries

Introduction The European Court of Justice confirmed, once more, on 30 May 2024, in case C-353/21 P, Ryanair v Commission, that Member States do not have to grant State aid to all undertakings that may be affected by a serious economic disturbance such as a pandemic.2 This is because Member States do not have unlimited resources and because they may […]

A First Case of “Significant Market Power”

Introduction On the same day that the General Court ruled on the recapitalisation of SAS, it also ruled on the recapitalisation of Lufthansa in case T-34/21, Ryanair v European Commission.1 In the latter case, Ryanair sought the annulment of Commission decision SA.57153 of June 2020 by which the Commission approved injection of capital in Deutsche Lufthansa [DLH] of the amount […]

The Temporary Framework Allows Member States to Grant Aid only to SMEs 

Introduction  Although discrimination is in general prohibited in the EU, the fact remains that in the field of State aid Member States may grant State aid only to certain companies and may also decide how much aid to grant.  That the granting of State aid relies solely on the discretion of Member States has recently been re-confirmed by the General […]

Individual Aid to Counter the Effects of Serious Economic Disturbance Is Legally Possible, but Is it Appropriate?

Individual aid need not be capable itself to remedy serious economic disturbance in the economy of a Member State. It is sufficient that it contributes to that effect. Introduction On 22 June 2022, in case T‑657/20, Ryanair v European Commission, the General Court confirmed once more that Member States have a right to grant State aid to the undertakings of […]

The Problem of Multiple Awards of Aid to the Undertaking and to the Same Group

Multiple awards of aid to the same undertaking are allowed as long as they cover different costs. Multiple awards of aid to the same group are allowed as long as aid does not leak from one undertaking in the group to another. Introduction In the first half of 2021, the General Court ruled in ten cases of appeal lodged by […]

Individual Aid Measures to Combat Covid-19

Aid to remedy a serious economic disturbance may be granted to a single company that is important for the national economy. EU law does not extend to competitors a right to the same aid. Introduction Between March 2020 and April 2021, the European Commission has authorised aid totalling more than EUR 2.5 trillion to remedy the serious economic disturbance caused […]

The Pan-European Guarantee Fund: The First State Aid Instrument at EU Level

The Fund managed by the EIB constitutes State aid granted collectively by participating Member States. Introduction One of the many responses of the European Union to the economic harm wreaked by the pandemic was the establishment of the Pan-European Guarantee Fund [the Fund] by the European Investment Bank. Member States were invited to contribute to the Fund. This is both […]

State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part II)

State aid may be used to compensate airlines licensed by domestic authorities for losses incurred as a result of national travel restrictions. [In case you have missed part I, you can access it here.] Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact […]

State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part I)

State aid may be used to compensate airlines licensed by domestic authorities for losses incurred as a result of national travel restrictions. Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact of covid-19. The Temporary Framework was welcomed by both Member States and […]

- Article 107(3)(b) ×

Aid Measures with Limited Beneficiaries

Introduction During the covid-19 pandemic Member States granted State aid to undertakings they considered important for their economies or for maintaining their connectivity with the rest of the world. Ryanair appealed against multiple Commission decisions authorising that aid. Ryanair succeeded in some of its challenges on technical issues. It lost all other cases on issues of principle. On 6 June […]

Member States May Grant State Aid to Single Beneficiaries

Introduction The European Court of Justice confirmed, once more, on 30 May 2024, in case C-353/21 P, Ryanair v Commission, that Member States do not have to grant State aid to all undertakings that may be affected by a serious economic disturbance such as a pandemic.2 This is because Member States do not have unlimited resources and because they may […]

A First Case of “Significant Market Power”

Introduction On the same day that the General Court ruled on the recapitalisation of SAS, it also ruled on the recapitalisation of Lufthansa in case T-34/21, Ryanair v European Commission.1 In the latter case, Ryanair sought the annulment of Commission decision SA.57153 of June 2020 by which the Commission approved injection of capital in Deutsche Lufthansa [DLH] of the amount […]

The Temporary Framework Allows Member States to Grant Aid only to SMEs 

Introduction  Although discrimination is in general prohibited in the EU, the fact remains that in the field of State aid Member States may grant State aid only to certain companies and may also decide how much aid to grant.  That the granting of State aid relies solely on the discretion of Member States has recently been re-confirmed by the General […]

Individual Aid to Counter the Effects of Serious Economic Disturbance Is Legally Possible, but Is it Appropriate?

Individual aid need not be capable itself to remedy serious economic disturbance in the economy of a Member State. It is sufficient that it contributes to that effect. Introduction On 22 June 2022, in case T‑657/20, Ryanair v European Commission, the General Court confirmed once more that Member States have a right to grant State aid to the undertakings of […]

The Problem of Multiple Awards of Aid to the Undertaking and to the Same Group

Multiple awards of aid to the same undertaking are allowed as long as they cover different costs. Multiple awards of aid to the same group are allowed as long as aid does not leak from one undertaking in the group to another. Introduction In the first half of 2021, the General Court ruled in ten cases of appeal lodged by […]

Individual Aid Measures to Combat Covid-19

Aid to remedy a serious economic disturbance may be granted to a single company that is important for the national economy. EU law does not extend to competitors a right to the same aid. Introduction Between March 2020 and April 2021, the European Commission has authorised aid totalling more than EUR 2.5 trillion to remedy the serious economic disturbance caused […]

The Pan-European Guarantee Fund: The First State Aid Instrument at EU Level

The Fund managed by the EIB constitutes State aid granted collectively by participating Member States. Introduction One of the many responses of the European Union to the economic harm wreaked by the pandemic was the establishment of the Pan-European Guarantee Fund [the Fund] by the European Investment Bank. Member States were invited to contribute to the Fund. This is both […]

State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part II)

State aid may be used to compensate airlines licensed by domestic authorities for losses incurred as a result of national travel restrictions. [In case you have missed part I, you can access it here.] Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact […]

State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part I)

State aid may be used to compensate airlines licensed by domestic authorities for losses incurred as a result of national travel restrictions. Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact of covid-19. The Temporary Framework was welcomed by both Member States and […]

- Article 107(3)(b) ×

Aid Measures with Limited Beneficiaries

Introduction During the covid-19 pandemic Member States granted State aid to undertakings they considered important for their economies or for maintaining their connectivity with the rest of the world. Ryanair appealed against multiple Commission decisions authorising that aid. Ryanair succeeded in some of its challenges on technical issues. It lost all other cases on issues of principle. On 6 June […]

Member States May Grant State Aid to Single Beneficiaries

Introduction The European Court of Justice confirmed, once more, on 30 May 2024, in case C-353/21 P, Ryanair v Commission, that Member States do not have to grant State aid to all undertakings that may be affected by a serious economic disturbance such as a pandemic.2 This is because Member States do not have unlimited resources and because they may […]

A First Case of “Significant Market Power”

Introduction On the same day that the General Court ruled on the recapitalisation of SAS, it also ruled on the recapitalisation of Lufthansa in case T-34/21, Ryanair v European Commission.1 In the latter case, Ryanair sought the annulment of Commission decision SA.57153 of June 2020 by which the Commission approved injection of capital in Deutsche Lufthansa [DLH] of the amount […]

The Temporary Framework Allows Member States to Grant Aid only to SMEs 

Introduction  Although discrimination is in general prohibited in the EU, the fact remains that in the field of State aid Member States may grant State aid only to certain companies and may also decide how much aid to grant.  That the granting of State aid relies solely on the discretion of Member States has recently been re-confirmed by the General […]

Individual Aid to Counter the Effects of Serious Economic Disturbance Is Legally Possible, but Is it Appropriate?

Individual aid need not be capable itself to remedy serious economic disturbance in the economy of a Member State. It is sufficient that it contributes to that effect. Introduction On 22 June 2022, in case T‑657/20, Ryanair v European Commission, the General Court confirmed once more that Member States have a right to grant State aid to the undertakings of […]

The Problem of Multiple Awards of Aid to the Undertaking and to the Same Group

Multiple awards of aid to the same undertaking are allowed as long as they cover different costs. Multiple awards of aid to the same group are allowed as long as aid does not leak from one undertaking in the group to another. Introduction In the first half of 2021, the General Court ruled in ten cases of appeal lodged by […]

Individual Aid Measures to Combat Covid-19

Aid to remedy a serious economic disturbance may be granted to a single company that is important for the national economy. EU law does not extend to competitors a right to the same aid. Introduction Between March 2020 and April 2021, the European Commission has authorised aid totalling more than EUR 2.5 trillion to remedy the serious economic disturbance caused […]

The Pan-European Guarantee Fund: The First State Aid Instrument at EU Level

The Fund managed by the EIB constitutes State aid granted collectively by participating Member States. Introduction One of the many responses of the European Union to the economic harm wreaked by the pandemic was the establishment of the Pan-European Guarantee Fund [the Fund] by the European Investment Bank. Member States were invited to contribute to the Fund. This is both […]

State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part II)

State aid may be used to compensate airlines licensed by domestic authorities for losses incurred as a result of national travel restrictions. [In case you have missed part I, you can access it here.] Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact […]

State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part I)

State aid may be used to compensate airlines licensed by domestic authorities for losses incurred as a result of national travel restrictions. Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact of covid-19. The Temporary Framework was welcomed by both Member States and […]

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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