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.

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- Selective Advantage ×

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 […]

Belgium’s Alternative Tax Regime for the Diamond Sector

Alternative tax regimes do not provide State aid as long as they raise the amount of tax paid and they are justified by the nature or general scheme of the normal system of taxation.   Introduction During the past three years, the Commission has been pursuing multinational companies that pay too little tax. Its main objection to the tax treatment […]

The Treatment of Advisory and Information Services under State Aid Rules: The Case of the German Milk Levy

Public funding of advisory and information activities may constitute State aid. Public funding of industry associations may constitute State aid.   Introduction An article that was published on this blog in January (view the article HERE) dealt with the issue of compulsory tests. If tests which are intended to safeguard public health are paid for by the state, is there any […]

An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease [1]

An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion that may render a measure de facto selective. The impact of a measure on trade and competition cannot be merely presumed just […]

Altmark, again!

Sectoral regulation is not the same as definition of public service obligation. Aid that favours a certain technology is incompatible with the internal market, unless it can be objectively justified.   Introduction “Altmark” has become a permanent feature in the landscape of State aid. Its application was again one of the main issues of contention in six judgments rendered by […]

A National Measure that Does Not Apply at Regional Level Is Not Necessarily Selective

Where there is a constitutional division of tax competences, different authorities may tax similar activities at different rates.   Introduction This article examines Commission decision SA.34469 on differential tax rates for online and land-based gambling in Spain.[1] In the Spanish political system, regions that have the status of Autonomous Communities have powers of taxation. The issue at hand was which authority […]

- Selective Advantage ×

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 […]

Belgium’s Alternative Tax Regime for the Diamond Sector

Alternative tax regimes do not provide State aid as long as they raise the amount of tax paid and they are justified by the nature or general scheme of the normal system of taxation.   Introduction During the past three years, the Commission has been pursuing multinational companies that pay too little tax. Its main objection to the tax treatment […]

The Treatment of Advisory and Information Services under State Aid Rules: The Case of the German Milk Levy

Public funding of advisory and information activities may constitute State aid. Public funding of industry associations may constitute State aid.   Introduction An article that was published on this blog in January (view the article HERE) dealt with the issue of compulsory tests. If tests which are intended to safeguard public health are paid for by the state, is there any […]

An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease [1]

An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion that may render a measure de facto selective. The impact of a measure on trade and competition cannot be merely presumed just […]

Altmark, again!

Sectoral regulation is not the same as definition of public service obligation. Aid that favours a certain technology is incompatible with the internal market, unless it can be objectively justified.   Introduction “Altmark” has become a permanent feature in the landscape of State aid. Its application was again one of the main issues of contention in six judgments rendered by […]

A National Measure that Does Not Apply at Regional Level Is Not Necessarily Selective

Where there is a constitutional division of tax competences, different authorities may tax similar activities at different rates.   Introduction This article examines Commission decision SA.34469 on differential tax rates for online and land-based gambling in Spain.[1] In the Spanish political system, regions that have the status of Autonomous Communities have powers of taxation. The issue at hand was which authority […]

- Selective Advantage ×

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 […]

Belgium’s Alternative Tax Regime for the Diamond Sector

Alternative tax regimes do not provide State aid as long as they raise the amount of tax paid and they are justified by the nature or general scheme of the normal system of taxation.   Introduction During the past three years, the Commission has been pursuing multinational companies that pay too little tax. Its main objection to the tax treatment […]

The Treatment of Advisory and Information Services under State Aid Rules: The Case of the German Milk Levy

Public funding of advisory and information activities may constitute State aid. Public funding of industry associations may constitute State aid.   Introduction An article that was published on this blog in January (view the article HERE) dealt with the issue of compulsory tests. If tests which are intended to safeguard public health are paid for by the state, is there any […]

An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease [1]

An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion that may render a measure de facto selective. The impact of a measure on trade and competition cannot be merely presumed just […]

Altmark, again!

Sectoral regulation is not the same as definition of public service obligation. Aid that favours a certain technology is incompatible with the internal market, unless it can be objectively justified.   Introduction “Altmark” has become a permanent feature in the landscape of State aid. Its application was again one of the main issues of contention in six judgments rendered by […]

A National Measure that Does Not Apply at Regional Level Is Not Necessarily Selective

Where there is a constitutional division of tax competences, different authorities may tax similar activities at different rates.   Introduction This article examines Commission decision SA.34469 on differential tax rates for online and land-based gambling in Spain.[1] In the Spanish political system, regions that have the status of Autonomous Communities have powers of taxation. The issue at hand was which authority […]

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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