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!

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

- Recovery ×

Selectivity of Regional Schemes

Introduction Article 107(3)(a) areas and the outermost regions of the EU [defined in Article 349 TFEU] are more favourably treated under State aid rules. But they still have to comply with the terms of Commission authorising decisions. In case regional State aid is found to be incompatible with the internal market, their regional handicaps cannot justify any leniency in the […]

Recovery of Incompatible Aid and the Application of General Provisions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation

The amount of incompatible State aid that has to be recovered can be reduced by any credit the aid recipient could have legally obtained from the application of general provisions of national law. Introduction The recovery of incompatible State aid has to be carried out immediately and effectively. The Commission gives guidance to the Member State concerned how to calculate […]

Member States Must Recover of their Own Initiative Illegally Granted Aid

Aid granted illegal must be recovered by the granting authority without any need for a prior Commission decision ordering recovery. The amount of recovered aid may be limited to that which is in excess of what is allowed by the GBER. Introduction It is a well-established principle in the case law that a “prudent market operator” is responsible to check […]

Economic Continuity and Recovery of Indirect State Aid

Special insolvency procedures can confer a selective advantage that constitutes State aid. A recovery order can be extended to the new owner of a company that had received incompatible State aid. Introduction Recipients of State aid that is found to be incompatible with the internal market have to pay it back with interest. This liability for repayment also extend to […]

The Impossibility of Proving the Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible State Aid

It is not sufficient to claim that is it absolutely impossible to recover incompatible State aid. It must be shown that alternative methods have been actually tried without success. Introduction It is rather impossible for Member States to prove that it is absolutely impossible to recover State aid that has been found by the Commission, and confirmed by EU courts, […]

A Rare Case of Altmark-compliant SGEI (Part II)

For a service to be in the general economic interest, it must be shown to fill a gap in the market or to offer what the market fails to provide adequately. [In case you have missed part I, you can access it here.] Introduction Services of general economic interest [SGEI] are important for the functioning of European societies. However, the […]

A Rare Case of Altmark-compliant SGEI (Part I)

For a service to be in the general economic interest, it must be shown to fill a gap in the market or to offer what the market fails to provide adequately. Introduction Services of general economic interest [SGEI] are important for the functioning of European societies. However, the granting of compensation to an undertaking for the provision of SGEI must […]

2019 Competition Report

The Annual Competition Report is a useful document, but it should provide more information on the results of the ex post evaluations and ex post monitoring. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published COVID-19 measures, as of 10 July 2020: 202* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 20; Article 107(3)(b): 171; Article 107(3)(c): 17 Six Member States have implemented 11 […]

i) Investor-State Arbitration ii) Recovery of Incompatible State Aid iii) State Aid Scoreboard 2019

Member States abolish bilateral investment treaties between themselves. When the Commission orders recovery of incompatible State aid, interest has to be added to the recoverable amount for the whole period of illegality regardless of any national limitation rules. In 2018, Member States granted EUR 121 billion to industry and services, EUR 6.3 billion to agriculture and EUR 50 billion to […]

Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed

The European Commission has to consider whether the private investor principle is applicable in cases of state investments. It is for Member States to prove that their investments conform with the private investor principle. Temporary Framework As of 9 May 2020, the European Commission had approved 113 State aid measures to combat covid-19. Their legal basis was: Article 107(2)(b): 10; […]

- Recovery ×

Selectivity of Regional Schemes

Introduction Article 107(3)(a) areas and the outermost regions of the EU [defined in Article 349 TFEU] are more favourably treated under State aid rules. But they still have to comply with the terms of Commission authorising decisions. In case regional State aid is found to be incompatible with the internal market, their regional handicaps cannot justify any leniency in the […]

Recovery of Incompatible Aid and the Application of General Provisions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation

The amount of incompatible State aid that has to be recovered can be reduced by any credit the aid recipient could have legally obtained from the application of general provisions of national law. Introduction The recovery of incompatible State aid has to be carried out immediately and effectively. The Commission gives guidance to the Member State concerned how to calculate […]

Member States Must Recover of their Own Initiative Illegally Granted Aid

Aid granted illegal must be recovered by the granting authority without any need for a prior Commission decision ordering recovery. The amount of recovered aid may be limited to that which is in excess of what is allowed by the GBER. Introduction It is a well-established principle in the case law that a “prudent market operator” is responsible to check […]

Economic Continuity and Recovery of Indirect State Aid

Special insolvency procedures can confer a selective advantage that constitutes State aid. A recovery order can be extended to the new owner of a company that had received incompatible State aid. Introduction Recipients of State aid that is found to be incompatible with the internal market have to pay it back with interest. This liability for repayment also extend to […]

The Impossibility of Proving the Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible State Aid

It is not sufficient to claim that is it absolutely impossible to recover incompatible State aid. It must be shown that alternative methods have been actually tried without success. Introduction It is rather impossible for Member States to prove that it is absolutely impossible to recover State aid that has been found by the Commission, and confirmed by EU courts, […]

A Rare Case of Altmark-compliant SGEI (Part II)

For a service to be in the general economic interest, it must be shown to fill a gap in the market or to offer what the market fails to provide adequately. [In case you have missed part I, you can access it here.] Introduction Services of general economic interest [SGEI] are important for the functioning of European societies. However, the […]

A Rare Case of Altmark-compliant SGEI (Part I)

For a service to be in the general economic interest, it must be shown to fill a gap in the market or to offer what the market fails to provide adequately. Introduction Services of general economic interest [SGEI] are important for the functioning of European societies. However, the granting of compensation to an undertaking for the provision of SGEI must […]

2019 Competition Report

The Annual Competition Report is a useful document, but it should provide more information on the results of the ex post evaluations and ex post monitoring. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published COVID-19 measures, as of 10 July 2020: 202* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 20; Article 107(3)(b): 171; Article 107(3)(c): 17 Six Member States have implemented 11 […]

i) Investor-State Arbitration ii) Recovery of Incompatible State Aid iii) State Aid Scoreboard 2019

Member States abolish bilateral investment treaties between themselves. When the Commission orders recovery of incompatible State aid, interest has to be added to the recoverable amount for the whole period of illegality regardless of any national limitation rules. In 2018, Member States granted EUR 121 billion to industry and services, EUR 6.3 billion to agriculture and EUR 50 billion to […]

Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed

The European Commission has to consider whether the private investor principle is applicable in cases of state investments. It is for Member States to prove that their investments conform with the private investor principle. Temporary Framework As of 9 May 2020, the European Commission had approved 113 State aid measures to combat covid-19. Their legal basis was: Article 107(2)(b): 10; […]

- Recovery ×

Selectivity of Regional Schemes

Introduction Article 107(3)(a) areas and the outermost regions of the EU [defined in Article 349 TFEU] are more favourably treated under State aid rules. But they still have to comply with the terms of Commission authorising decisions. In case regional State aid is found to be incompatible with the internal market, their regional handicaps cannot justify any leniency in the […]

Recovery of Incompatible Aid and the Application of General Provisions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation

The amount of incompatible State aid that has to be recovered can be reduced by any credit the aid recipient could have legally obtained from the application of general provisions of national law. Introduction The recovery of incompatible State aid has to be carried out immediately and effectively. The Commission gives guidance to the Member State concerned how to calculate […]

Member States Must Recover of their Own Initiative Illegally Granted Aid

Aid granted illegal must be recovered by the granting authority without any need for a prior Commission decision ordering recovery. The amount of recovered aid may be limited to that which is in excess of what is allowed by the GBER. Introduction It is a well-established principle in the case law that a “prudent market operator” is responsible to check […]

Economic Continuity and Recovery of Indirect State Aid

Special insolvency procedures can confer a selective advantage that constitutes State aid. A recovery order can be extended to the new owner of a company that had received incompatible State aid. Introduction Recipients of State aid that is found to be incompatible with the internal market have to pay it back with interest. This liability for repayment also extend to […]

The Impossibility of Proving the Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible State Aid

It is not sufficient to claim that is it absolutely impossible to recover incompatible State aid. It must be shown that alternative methods have been actually tried without success. Introduction It is rather impossible for Member States to prove that it is absolutely impossible to recover State aid that has been found by the Commission, and confirmed by EU courts, […]

A Rare Case of Altmark-compliant SGEI (Part II)

For a service to be in the general economic interest, it must be shown to fill a gap in the market or to offer what the market fails to provide adequately. [In case you have missed part I, you can access it here.] Introduction Services of general economic interest [SGEI] are important for the functioning of European societies. However, the […]

A Rare Case of Altmark-compliant SGEI (Part I)

For a service to be in the general economic interest, it must be shown to fill a gap in the market or to offer what the market fails to provide adequately. Introduction Services of general economic interest [SGEI] are important for the functioning of European societies. However, the granting of compensation to an undertaking for the provision of SGEI must […]

2019 Competition Report

The Annual Competition Report is a useful document, but it should provide more information on the results of the ex post evaluations and ex post monitoring. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published COVID-19 measures, as of 10 July 2020: 202* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 20; Article 107(3)(b): 171; Article 107(3)(c): 17 Six Member States have implemented 11 […]

i) Investor-State Arbitration ii) Recovery of Incompatible State Aid iii) State Aid Scoreboard 2019

Member States abolish bilateral investment treaties between themselves. When the Commission orders recovery of incompatible State aid, interest has to be added to the recoverable amount for the whole period of illegality regardless of any national limitation rules. In 2018, Member States granted EUR 121 billion to industry and services, EUR 6.3 billion to agriculture and EUR 50 billion to […]

Advantage Must be Proven, Not Assumed

The European Commission has to consider whether the private investor principle is applicable in cases of state investments. It is for Member States to prove that their investments conform with the private investor principle. Temporary Framework As of 9 May 2020, the European Commission had approved 113 State aid measures to combat covid-19. Their legal basis was: Article 107(2)(b): 10; […]

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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