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 Resources ×

State Control without State Imputability

A snapshot of Covid-19 State aid Number of Covid-19 approved measures1, 2 [EU27 + UK, 4 September 2020] 19-15 13-11 9-7 6-4 BE CZ DK IT PL DE FR HU LV NL BG EL FI IE LT LU MT RO SE SK UK AT CY EE ES HR PT SI Source: DG Competition, author’s own calculations 1: Data exclude amendments […]

2019 Competition Report

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 […]

Direct v Indirect Advantages: The Case of Sardinian Airports

Public funding that flows through intermediaries to third parties also counts as a state resource if the intermediaries carry out instructions by the funding authority. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 12 June 2020: 154* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 14; Article 107(3)(b): 130; Article 107(3)(c): 14 Three recapitalisation measures have been approved [Finland, Lithuania & Poland]. The […]

Environmental Remediation and State Liability

Liability assumed by the state for the actions of an undertaking constitutes a selective advantage that may result in potential transfer of state resources in the future. Introduction On 16 January 2020 the General Court delivered its judgment in case T‑257/18, Iberpotash v European Commission.[1] Iberpotash, a Spanish company, appealed against Commission decision 2018/118. Iberpotash owns and operates potash mines […]

Exclusive Rights and Legal Monopolies

StateAidHub_LegalMonopolies
State aid rules can apply to sectors which are legal monopolies. Introduction The fact that a company enjoys exclusive rights and operates in a sector covered by a legal monopoly does not necessarily insulate it from State aid rules. This has been confirmed by the Court of Justice in its judgment of 19 December 2019, in case C-385/18, Arriva Italia […]

The Boundary between State and Private Resources

Discretion in the form of intervention can remove it from the control of the state.   Introduction Suppose a thug puts a gun to your head and demands your wallet. Because you have sentimental photos in your wallet, you offer instead the keys to your car. You would rather lose the car than the wallet. Can the thug claim in […]

State Resources and Imputability

When the state acts in its capacity as legislator it is not presumed to direct the resources of undertakings it owns and over which it can exercise dominant influence as a shareholder. Introduction On 13 September 2017, the Court of Justice replied to a request from a national court to advise it on the concept of state resources [case C‑329/15, […]

Imputability to the State

State resources and imputability or attribution to the state are two distinct concepts. They must both be satisfied in order for a measure to constitute State aid. Introduction Several Member States have set up “promotional” banks or national development banks. Some of these promotional banks pursue only public policy objectives by channelling cheap funds to SMEs. Some others provide funding […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part I – Economic Activities & State Resources

The Notice provides a thorough review of the case law and the decisional practice of the Commission.   Introduction After more than two years of deliberations, the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid was published in the Official Journal on 19 July 2016.[1] The Notice presents “the Commission’s understanding of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, as interpreted by the […]

Support for Green Electricity: State Resources and “PreussenElektra”

Arrangements established by law whereby undertakings are compensated for any extra payments they make to producers of green electricity are likely to bring those payments under the control of the state. Those payments will then be classified as state resources regardless of whether they are managed by private entities.   Introduction On 10 May 2016, the General Court issued its […]

Investment and Operating Aid to Airports

State aid is granted on the date the relevant public authority makes an irrevocable commitment to grant it or creates a legal entitlement for the beneficiary. Loans that impose public policy obligations on borrowers are not in conformity with the behaviour of a private investor.   Introduction This is a rather long article because it examines a rich case that […]

The Use and Abuse of De Minimis Aid & State Resources

Individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period. Aid measures which are funded by beneficiaries themselves are unlikely to constitute State aid.   Introduction This article reviews two cases that, among other things, deal with the use and abuse of de minimis aid […]

The Market Economy Investor Principle Applies also to Avoidance of Losses

A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to avoid costly contractual clauses. A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to bring forward future revenue. Introduction   When a market operator invests to make profit, its underlying logic is the same as when it pays to avoid losses. In both cases it is […]

Exclusive Rights

The granting of exclusive rights may confer an advantage but does not in itself result in transfer of state resources. Private undertakings that hold exclusive rights are not utilising state resources by the mere fact that they operate under rights conferred by the state. Price regulation is a regulatory act which does not entail transfer of state resources. Introduction   […]

- State Resources ×

State Control without State Imputability

A snapshot of Covid-19 State aid Number of Covid-19 approved measures1, 2 [EU27 + UK, 4 September 2020] 19-15 13-11 9-7 6-4 BE CZ DK IT PL DE FR HU LV NL BG EL FI IE LT LU MT RO SE SK UK AT CY EE ES HR PT SI Source: DG Competition, author’s own calculations 1: Data exclude amendments […]

2019 Competition Report

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 […]

Direct v Indirect Advantages: The Case of Sardinian Airports

Public funding that flows through intermediaries to third parties also counts as a state resource if the intermediaries carry out instructions by the funding authority. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 12 June 2020: 154* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 14; Article 107(3)(b): 130; Article 107(3)(c): 14 Three recapitalisation measures have been approved [Finland, Lithuania & Poland]. The […]

Environmental Remediation and State Liability

Liability assumed by the state for the actions of an undertaking constitutes a selective advantage that may result in potential transfer of state resources in the future. Introduction On 16 January 2020 the General Court delivered its judgment in case T‑257/18, Iberpotash v European Commission.[1] Iberpotash, a Spanish company, appealed against Commission decision 2018/118. Iberpotash owns and operates potash mines […]

Exclusive Rights and Legal Monopolies

StateAidHub_LegalMonopolies
State aid rules can apply to sectors which are legal monopolies. Introduction The fact that a company enjoys exclusive rights and operates in a sector covered by a legal monopoly does not necessarily insulate it from State aid rules. This has been confirmed by the Court of Justice in its judgment of 19 December 2019, in case C-385/18, Arriva Italia […]

The Boundary between State and Private Resources

Discretion in the form of intervention can remove it from the control of the state.   Introduction Suppose a thug puts a gun to your head and demands your wallet. Because you have sentimental photos in your wallet, you offer instead the keys to your car. You would rather lose the car than the wallet. Can the thug claim in […]

State Resources and Imputability

When the state acts in its capacity as legislator it is not presumed to direct the resources of undertakings it owns and over which it can exercise dominant influence as a shareholder. Introduction On 13 September 2017, the Court of Justice replied to a request from a national court to advise it on the concept of state resources [case C‑329/15, […]

Imputability to the State

State resources and imputability or attribution to the state are two distinct concepts. They must both be satisfied in order for a measure to constitute State aid. Introduction Several Member States have set up “promotional” banks or national development banks. Some of these promotional banks pursue only public policy objectives by channelling cheap funds to SMEs. Some others provide funding […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part I – Economic Activities & State Resources

The Notice provides a thorough review of the case law and the decisional practice of the Commission.   Introduction After more than two years of deliberations, the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid was published in the Official Journal on 19 July 2016.[1] The Notice presents “the Commission’s understanding of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, as interpreted by the […]

Support for Green Electricity: State Resources and “PreussenElektra”

Arrangements established by law whereby undertakings are compensated for any extra payments they make to producers of green electricity are likely to bring those payments under the control of the state. Those payments will then be classified as state resources regardless of whether they are managed by private entities.   Introduction On 10 May 2016, the General Court issued its […]

Investment and Operating Aid to Airports

State aid is granted on the date the relevant public authority makes an irrevocable commitment to grant it or creates a legal entitlement for the beneficiary. Loans that impose public policy obligations on borrowers are not in conformity with the behaviour of a private investor.   Introduction This is a rather long article because it examines a rich case that […]

The Use and Abuse of De Minimis Aid & State Resources

Individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period. Aid measures which are funded by beneficiaries themselves are unlikely to constitute State aid.   Introduction This article reviews two cases that, among other things, deal with the use and abuse of de minimis aid […]

The Market Economy Investor Principle Applies also to Avoidance of Losses

A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to avoid costly contractual clauses. A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to bring forward future revenue. Introduction   When a market operator invests to make profit, its underlying logic is the same as when it pays to avoid losses. In both cases it is […]

Exclusive Rights

The granting of exclusive rights may confer an advantage but does not in itself result in transfer of state resources. Private undertakings that hold exclusive rights are not utilising state resources by the mere fact that they operate under rights conferred by the state. Price regulation is a regulatory act which does not entail transfer of state resources. Introduction   […]

- State Resources ×

State Control without State Imputability

A snapshot of Covid-19 State aid Number of Covid-19 approved measures1, 2 [EU27 + UK, 4 September 2020] 19-15 13-11 9-7 6-4 BE CZ DK IT PL DE FR HU LV NL BG EL FI IE LT LU MT RO SE SK UK AT CY EE ES HR PT SI Source: DG Competition, author’s own calculations 1: Data exclude amendments […]

2019 Competition Report

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 […]

Direct v Indirect Advantages: The Case of Sardinian Airports

Public funding that flows through intermediaries to third parties also counts as a state resource if the intermediaries carry out instructions by the funding authority. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 12 June 2020: 154* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 14; Article 107(3)(b): 130; Article 107(3)(c): 14 Three recapitalisation measures have been approved [Finland, Lithuania & Poland]. The […]

Environmental Remediation and State Liability

Liability assumed by the state for the actions of an undertaking constitutes a selective advantage that may result in potential transfer of state resources in the future. Introduction On 16 January 2020 the General Court delivered its judgment in case T‑257/18, Iberpotash v European Commission.[1] Iberpotash, a Spanish company, appealed against Commission decision 2018/118. Iberpotash owns and operates potash mines […]

Exclusive Rights and Legal Monopolies

StateAidHub_LegalMonopolies
State aid rules can apply to sectors which are legal monopolies. Introduction The fact that a company enjoys exclusive rights and operates in a sector covered by a legal monopoly does not necessarily insulate it from State aid rules. This has been confirmed by the Court of Justice in its judgment of 19 December 2019, in case C-385/18, Arriva Italia […]

The Boundary between State and Private Resources

Discretion in the form of intervention can remove it from the control of the state.   Introduction Suppose a thug puts a gun to your head and demands your wallet. Because you have sentimental photos in your wallet, you offer instead the keys to your car. You would rather lose the car than the wallet. Can the thug claim in […]

State Resources and Imputability

When the state acts in its capacity as legislator it is not presumed to direct the resources of undertakings it owns and over which it can exercise dominant influence as a shareholder. Introduction On 13 September 2017, the Court of Justice replied to a request from a national court to advise it on the concept of state resources [case C‑329/15, […]

Imputability to the State

State resources and imputability or attribution to the state are two distinct concepts. They must both be satisfied in order for a measure to constitute State aid. Introduction Several Member States have set up “promotional” banks or national development banks. Some of these promotional banks pursue only public policy objectives by channelling cheap funds to SMEs. Some others provide funding […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part I – Economic Activities & State Resources

The Notice provides a thorough review of the case law and the decisional practice of the Commission.   Introduction After more than two years of deliberations, the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid was published in the Official Journal on 19 July 2016.[1] The Notice presents “the Commission’s understanding of Article 107(1) of the Treaty, as interpreted by the […]

Support for Green Electricity: State Resources and “PreussenElektra”

Arrangements established by law whereby undertakings are compensated for any extra payments they make to producers of green electricity are likely to bring those payments under the control of the state. Those payments will then be classified as state resources regardless of whether they are managed by private entities.   Introduction On 10 May 2016, the General Court issued its […]

Investment and Operating Aid to Airports

State aid is granted on the date the relevant public authority makes an irrevocable commitment to grant it or creates a legal entitlement for the beneficiary. Loans that impose public policy obligations on borrowers are not in conformity with the behaviour of a private investor.   Introduction This is a rather long article because it examines a rich case that […]

The Use and Abuse of De Minimis Aid & State Resources

Individual awards of de minimis aid must remain below the relevant threshold as well as the sum of all individual awards in any three-year period. Aid measures which are funded by beneficiaries themselves are unlikely to constitute State aid.   Introduction This article reviews two cases that, among other things, deal with the use and abuse of de minimis aid […]

The Market Economy Investor Principle Applies also to Avoidance of Losses

A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to avoid costly contractual clauses. A public authority can act as a private investor in paying to bring forward future revenue. Introduction   When a market operator invests to make profit, its underlying logic is the same as when it pays to avoid losses. In both cases it is […]

Exclusive Rights

The granting of exclusive rights may confer an advantage but does not in itself result in transfer of state resources. Private undertakings that hold exclusive rights are not utilising state resources by the mere fact that they operate under rights conferred by the state. Price regulation is a regulatory act which does not entail transfer of state resources. Introduction   […]

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.

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