State Aid Law Blog

State Aid Uncovered Blog/Guest State Aid 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!

- Tax Exemption ×

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 […]

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Danish Water Tax Exemption

A selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it does not confer an advantage that is proportionately larger than the magnitude of the tax reduction. A complete exemption of insignificant amounts of the taxable volume can be justified on the grounds of reducing administrative burden.     Introduction   Member States enjoy wide discretion to levy taxes on […]

Sector-Specific Tax Exemptions

A measure that covers a whole sector can be selective. Distortions caused by the policies of other Member States cannot justify the granting of State aid. The purpose of State aid is not to ensure equal conditions of competition across Member States.   Introduction On 31 May 2018, the General Court ruled in case T-160/16, Groningen Seaports v European Commission.[1] Groningen […]

Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes

Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity.   Introduction   In the past two weeks, an article was published in two parts criticising the judgments of the Court of Justice in three cases of […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part II

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Even the Catholic Church Is not Absolved from State Aid Rules: The Essence of Economic Activity – PART II

Purely religious activities and education funded by the state are not economic in nature.   Read the I. part of the article, here. Selective economic advantage The Court proceeded to examine the possible existence of a selective economic advantage. It first recalled, in paragraph 65, that the concept of State aid covers only those public measures which favour certain undertakings “or” […]

- Tax Exemption ×

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 […]

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Danish Water Tax Exemption

A selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it does not confer an advantage that is proportionately larger than the magnitude of the tax reduction. A complete exemption of insignificant amounts of the taxable volume can be justified on the grounds of reducing administrative burden.     Introduction   Member States enjoy wide discretion to levy taxes on […]

Sector-Specific Tax Exemptions

A measure that covers a whole sector can be selective. Distortions caused by the policies of other Member States cannot justify the granting of State aid. The purpose of State aid is not to ensure equal conditions of competition across Member States.   Introduction On 31 May 2018, the General Court ruled in case T-160/16, Groningen Seaports v European Commission.[1] Groningen […]

Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes

Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity.   Introduction   In the past two weeks, an article was published in two parts criticising the judgments of the Court of Justice in three cases of […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part II

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Even the Catholic Church Is not Absolved from State Aid Rules: The Essence of Economic Activity – PART II

Purely religious activities and education funded by the state are not economic in nature.   Read the I. part of the article, here. Selective economic advantage The Court proceeded to examine the possible existence of a selective economic advantage. It first recalled, in paragraph 65, that the concept of State aid covers only those public measures which favour certain undertakings “or” […]

- Tax Exemption ×

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 […]

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Danish Water Tax Exemption

A selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it does not confer an advantage that is proportionately larger than the magnitude of the tax reduction. A complete exemption of insignificant amounts of the taxable volume can be justified on the grounds of reducing administrative burden.     Introduction   Member States enjoy wide discretion to levy taxes on […]

Sector-Specific Tax Exemptions

A measure that covers a whole sector can be selective. Distortions caused by the policies of other Member States cannot justify the granting of State aid. The purpose of State aid is not to ensure equal conditions of competition across Member States.   Introduction On 31 May 2018, the General Court ruled in case T-160/16, Groningen Seaports v European Commission.[1] Groningen […]

Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes

Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity.   Introduction   In the past two weeks, an article was published in two parts criticising the judgments of the Court of Justice in three cases of […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part II

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Even the Catholic Church Is not Absolved from State Aid Rules: The Essence of Economic Activity – PART II

Purely religious activities and education funded by the state are not economic in nature.   Read the I. part of the article, here. Selective economic advantage The Court proceeded to examine the possible existence of a selective economic advantage. It first recalled, in paragraph 65, that the concept of State aid covers only those public measures which favour certain undertakings “or” […]

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 post as a Word file to stateaidhub[a]lexxion.eu.

Step 2: The StateAidHub team 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 send you a link to register and log-in to the Blog as a guest author.

Step 4: Once you have logged-in to the blog, you can upload and publish your post.

Step 5: Enjoy the fame!

Submit your guest blog post

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