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!

- State Aid Rules ×

Will Brexit Usher in Protectionism?

The Financial Times reported on Friday, 29 November 2019, that the Conservative party in the UK announced that it would establish a different state aid system to “protect British industry after Brexit”. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was quoted to have said at a press conference on the same date that the new state aid system would make it “faster […]

Production of Green Electricity

Member States may reduce the amount of State aid they grant and companies may not claim they have a right to State aid. Introduction Close to 60% of all aid granted to industry and services in the EU goes to support environmental protection, energy efficiency and the generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy. However, as technology improves, the […]

Enforcement of State Aid Rules by National Courts

Private enforcement has increased, but damages for illegal granting of State aid have been successfully claimed in just one case. Introduction   According to the annual competition report that was published in July, Member States use the GBER to implement 96% of their new aid measures.[1] This impressive outcome should be seen in conjunction with the recent rulings of the Court […]

What Happens when Internal Market Rules and State Aid Rules Clash?

A tax refund may not be granted, if it constitutes non-notified State aid.   Introduction   It is a well-established principle that restrictions on internal market rights or freedoms may not be attached to a State aid measure. Indeed, current State aid rules [e.g. GBER, guidelines] explicitly exclude from their scope any aid measure which is inseparably linked to a […]

There Is No Threshold below which Economic Activities Can Be Considered to be Non-economic

Non-economic activities have to be accounted separately from economic activities. The exercise of public tasks assigned by the state cannot protect an undertaking from State aid rules. State aid distorts competition even when it aims to remedy distortions. Introduction Ports, like other transport infrastructures, may operate under public obligations some of which may be of economic and some of non-economic […]

Concession Agreements Free of State Aid

Awards of concession contracts should follow a procedure which is open, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional. Prices may be regulated to prevent excessive prices and profits. But, the concession fee may be adjusted to enable the concessionaire to earn a sufficient return.   Introduction This article examines the link between State aid and concession agreements. In decision SA.44259, the Commission considered […]

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” […]

Bank Resolution Has to Comply with State Aid Rules as well as the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive

Insurance funds contributed by banks become state resources if they are managed by public agencies. Sale of non-performing loans at market prices does not involve State aid.   Introduction Since 1 January 2016, the resolution financial institutions in Europe has been subject to stricter rules. The institutions which are established in the Eurozone fall with the jurisdiction of the Single […]

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 […]

“Good” Procedures Make “Good” State Aid: Ex Ante Conditionality for Effective Application of EU State Aid Rules

Structural fund rules for the period 2014-2020 define ex ante conditionalities that have to be satisfied by Managing Authorities that use EU funds to grant State aid. The ex ante conditionalities aim to strengthen the administrative capacity of Managing Authorities to grant State aid correctly. The European Commission has issued guidance on arrangements that can lead to improved administrative capacity. […]

- State Aid Rules ×

Will Brexit Usher in Protectionism?

The Financial Times reported on Friday, 29 November 2019, that the Conservative party in the UK announced that it would establish a different state aid system to “protect British industry after Brexit”. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was quoted to have said at a press conference on the same date that the new state aid system would make it “faster […]

Production of Green Electricity

Member States may reduce the amount of State aid they grant and companies may not claim they have a right to State aid. Introduction Close to 60% of all aid granted to industry and services in the EU goes to support environmental protection, energy efficiency and the generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy. However, as technology improves, the […]

Enforcement of State Aid Rules by National Courts

Private enforcement has increased, but damages for illegal granting of State aid have been successfully claimed in just one case. Introduction   According to the annual competition report that was published in July, Member States use the GBER to implement 96% of their new aid measures.[1] This impressive outcome should be seen in conjunction with the recent rulings of the Court […]

What Happens when Internal Market Rules and State Aid Rules Clash?

A tax refund may not be granted, if it constitutes non-notified State aid.   Introduction   It is a well-established principle that restrictions on internal market rights or freedoms may not be attached to a State aid measure. Indeed, current State aid rules [e.g. GBER, guidelines] explicitly exclude from their scope any aid measure which is inseparably linked to a […]

There Is No Threshold below which Economic Activities Can Be Considered to be Non-economic

Non-economic activities have to be accounted separately from economic activities. The exercise of public tasks assigned by the state cannot protect an undertaking from State aid rules. State aid distorts competition even when it aims to remedy distortions. Introduction Ports, like other transport infrastructures, may operate under public obligations some of which may be of economic and some of non-economic […]

Concession Agreements Free of State Aid

Awards of concession contracts should follow a procedure which is open, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional. Prices may be regulated to prevent excessive prices and profits. But, the concession fee may be adjusted to enable the concessionaire to earn a sufficient return.   Introduction This article examines the link between State aid and concession agreements. In decision SA.44259, the Commission considered […]

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” […]

Bank Resolution Has to Comply with State Aid Rules as well as the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive

Insurance funds contributed by banks become state resources if they are managed by public agencies. Sale of non-performing loans at market prices does not involve State aid.   Introduction Since 1 January 2016, the resolution financial institutions in Europe has been subject to stricter rules. The institutions which are established in the Eurozone fall with the jurisdiction of the Single […]

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 […]

“Good” Procedures Make “Good” State Aid: Ex Ante Conditionality for Effective Application of EU State Aid Rules

Structural fund rules for the period 2014-2020 define ex ante conditionalities that have to be satisfied by Managing Authorities that use EU funds to grant State aid. The ex ante conditionalities aim to strengthen the administrative capacity of Managing Authorities to grant State aid correctly. The European Commission has issued guidance on arrangements that can lead to improved administrative capacity. […]

- State Aid Rules ×

Will Brexit Usher in Protectionism?

The Financial Times reported on Friday, 29 November 2019, that the Conservative party in the UK announced that it would establish a different state aid system to “protect British industry after Brexit”. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was quoted to have said at a press conference on the same date that the new state aid system would make it “faster […]

Production of Green Electricity

Member States may reduce the amount of State aid they grant and companies may not claim they have a right to State aid. Introduction Close to 60% of all aid granted to industry and services in the EU goes to support environmental protection, energy efficiency and the generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy. However, as technology improves, the […]

Enforcement of State Aid Rules by National Courts

Private enforcement has increased, but damages for illegal granting of State aid have been successfully claimed in just one case. Introduction   According to the annual competition report that was published in July, Member States use the GBER to implement 96% of their new aid measures.[1] This impressive outcome should be seen in conjunction with the recent rulings of the Court […]

What Happens when Internal Market Rules and State Aid Rules Clash?

A tax refund may not be granted, if it constitutes non-notified State aid.   Introduction   It is a well-established principle that restrictions on internal market rights or freedoms may not be attached to a State aid measure. Indeed, current State aid rules [e.g. GBER, guidelines] explicitly exclude from their scope any aid measure which is inseparably linked to a […]

There Is No Threshold below which Economic Activities Can Be Considered to be Non-economic

Non-economic activities have to be accounted separately from economic activities. The exercise of public tasks assigned by the state cannot protect an undertaking from State aid rules. State aid distorts competition even when it aims to remedy distortions. Introduction Ports, like other transport infrastructures, may operate under public obligations some of which may be of economic and some of non-economic […]

Concession Agreements Free of State Aid

Awards of concession contracts should follow a procedure which is open, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional. Prices may be regulated to prevent excessive prices and profits. But, the concession fee may be adjusted to enable the concessionaire to earn a sufficient return.   Introduction This article examines the link between State aid and concession agreements. In decision SA.44259, the Commission considered […]

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” […]

Bank Resolution Has to Comply with State Aid Rules as well as the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive

Insurance funds contributed by banks become state resources if they are managed by public agencies. Sale of non-performing loans at market prices does not involve State aid.   Introduction Since 1 January 2016, the resolution financial institutions in Europe has been subject to stricter rules. The institutions which are established in the Eurozone fall with the jurisdiction of the Single […]

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 […]

“Good” Procedures Make “Good” State Aid: Ex Ante Conditionality for Effective Application of EU State Aid Rules

Structural fund rules for the period 2014-2020 define ex ante conditionalities that have to be satisfied by Managing Authorities that use EU funds to grant State aid. The ex ante conditionalities aim to strengthen the administrative capacity of Managing Authorities to grant State aid correctly. The European Commission has issued guidance on arrangements that can lead to improved administrative capacity. […]

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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