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.

Subscribe now!

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

- Electricity ×

Electricity Produced from High-Efficiency Combined Heat & Power Plants

News: The Commission has approved a draft block exemption regulation declaring certain categories of aid in the rail, inland waterways and multimodal transport sector compatible with the internal market on the basis of Article 93. The draft regulation can be accessed at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C_202404539 Introduction The EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive [EED] [Directive 2012/27, as last amended in 2023 by Directive 2023/1791] […]

The Court of Justice Conflates Objective Justification with Policy Objective, in the context of Public Support of Green Electricity

Introduction Suppose a Member State subsidises the installation of solar panels on the roof of a corporate building situated at number 5 on Main Street. Is this a general measure because there is no other building in the whole country with the same address? Of course, it is not a general measure. The uniqueness of the address is irrelevant. Apart […]

State Resources, Control and Imputability

Introduction A public measure can be classified as State aid only when it is funded from state resources. Measures funded from the budgets of public authorities are always considered to be supported by state resources. However, measures not funded from state budgets may still be supported by state resources. This is because, rather counterintuitively, the concept of state resources covers […]

Security of Energy Supply

Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices to a state-owned network operator involves a transfer of state resources to the supplier. Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices confers an advantage to the supplier. Introduction Member States are allowed to take measures to ensure the security of energy supplies. There is a variety of such measures: imposition of obligations on […]

Compensatory Payments and State Resources

Funds used in compensation mechanisms mandated by the state become state resources Introduction The Court of Justice has stressed repeatedly that any resource over which the state can exercise control becomes a state resource, regardless of whether it is managed by a public authority or a private entity. Member States, however, keep inventing novel and complicated arrangements in which mandated […]

Can a Tax (rather than a Tax Exemption) Confer a Selective Advantage?

A tax that is levied at one level of government and does not apply to products and activities at a different level of government need not be selective. Introduction A tax exemption normally confers a selective advantage, unless it is justified by the logic of the tax. Counterintuitively, a tax itself can be selectively advantageous if its scope is too […]

In Brief: T‑57/11 Castelnou Energía v Commission (judgment of 03.12.2014)

On Wednesday 3rd December the GC found Spanish aid granted to coal power plants to secure supply to be compatible State aid (judgment not yet available in English). After a busy day at the EStALI Autumn Workshop yesterday (we’ll give you all the hubbub from that as well as the conference later today), the following is a preliminary post on […]

- Electricity ×

Electricity Produced from High-Efficiency Combined Heat & Power Plants

News: The Commission has approved a draft block exemption regulation declaring certain categories of aid in the rail, inland waterways and multimodal transport sector compatible with the internal market on the basis of Article 93. The draft regulation can be accessed at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C_202404539 Introduction The EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive [EED] [Directive 2012/27, as last amended in 2023 by Directive 2023/1791] […]

The Court of Justice Conflates Objective Justification with Policy Objective, in the context of Public Support of Green Electricity

Introduction Suppose a Member State subsidises the installation of solar panels on the roof of a corporate building situated at number 5 on Main Street. Is this a general measure because there is no other building in the whole country with the same address? Of course, it is not a general measure. The uniqueness of the address is irrelevant. Apart […]

State Resources, Control and Imputability

Introduction A public measure can be classified as State aid only when it is funded from state resources. Measures funded from the budgets of public authorities are always considered to be supported by state resources. However, measures not funded from state budgets may still be supported by state resources. This is because, rather counterintuitively, the concept of state resources covers […]

Security of Energy Supply

Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices to a state-owned network operator involves a transfer of state resources to the supplier. Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices confers an advantage to the supplier. Introduction Member States are allowed to take measures to ensure the security of energy supplies. There is a variety of such measures: imposition of obligations on […]

Compensatory Payments and State Resources

Funds used in compensation mechanisms mandated by the state become state resources Introduction The Court of Justice has stressed repeatedly that any resource over which the state can exercise control becomes a state resource, regardless of whether it is managed by a public authority or a private entity. Member States, however, keep inventing novel and complicated arrangements in which mandated […]

Can a Tax (rather than a Tax Exemption) Confer a Selective Advantage?

A tax that is levied at one level of government and does not apply to products and activities at a different level of government need not be selective. Introduction A tax exemption normally confers a selective advantage, unless it is justified by the logic of the tax. Counterintuitively, a tax itself can be selectively advantageous if its scope is too […]

In Brief: T‑57/11 Castelnou Energía v Commission (judgment of 03.12.2014)

On Wednesday 3rd December the GC found Spanish aid granted to coal power plants to secure supply to be compatible State aid (judgment not yet available in English). After a busy day at the EStALI Autumn Workshop yesterday (we’ll give you all the hubbub from that as well as the conference later today), the following is a preliminary post on […]

- Electricity ×

Electricity Produced from High-Efficiency Combined Heat & Power Plants

News: The Commission has approved a draft block exemption regulation declaring certain categories of aid in the rail, inland waterways and multimodal transport sector compatible with the internal market on the basis of Article 93. The draft regulation can be accessed at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C_202404539 Introduction The EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive [EED] [Directive 2012/27, as last amended in 2023 by Directive 2023/1791] […]

The Court of Justice Conflates Objective Justification with Policy Objective, in the context of Public Support of Green Electricity

Introduction Suppose a Member State subsidises the installation of solar panels on the roof of a corporate building situated at number 5 on Main Street. Is this a general measure because there is no other building in the whole country with the same address? Of course, it is not a general measure. The uniqueness of the address is irrelevant. Apart […]

State Resources, Control and Imputability

Introduction A public measure can be classified as State aid only when it is funded from state resources. Measures funded from the budgets of public authorities are always considered to be supported by state resources. However, measures not funded from state budgets may still be supported by state resources. This is because, rather counterintuitively, the concept of state resources covers […]

Security of Energy Supply

Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices to a state-owned network operator involves a transfer of state resources to the supplier. Guaranteed supply of electricity at fixed prices confers an advantage to the supplier. Introduction Member States are allowed to take measures to ensure the security of energy supplies. There is a variety of such measures: imposition of obligations on […]

Compensatory Payments and State Resources

Funds used in compensation mechanisms mandated by the state become state resources Introduction The Court of Justice has stressed repeatedly that any resource over which the state can exercise control becomes a state resource, regardless of whether it is managed by a public authority or a private entity. Member States, however, keep inventing novel and complicated arrangements in which mandated […]

Can a Tax (rather than a Tax Exemption) Confer a Selective Advantage?

A tax that is levied at one level of government and does not apply to products and activities at a different level of government need not be selective. Introduction A tax exemption normally confers a selective advantage, unless it is justified by the logic of the tax. Counterintuitively, a tax itself can be selectively advantageous if its scope is too […]

In Brief: T‑57/11 Castelnou Energía v Commission (judgment of 03.12.2014)

On Wednesday 3rd December the GC found Spanish aid granted to coal power plants to secure supply to be compatible State aid (judgment not yet available in English). After a busy day at the EStALI Autumn Workshop yesterday (we’ll give you all the hubbub from that as well as the conference later today), the following is a preliminary post on […]

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 [email protected].

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

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on legal developments, upcoming conferences, workshops, and publications in your areas of interest.

Stay up to date: Newsletter Subscription