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

State Aid Uncovered - infrastructure ×

Duplication of Infrastructure Does not Promote Regional Development

A private investor is not interested in regional development. A private investor recoups its investment in infrastructure from revenue from the operation of that infrastructure. Duplication of infrastructure does not contribute to regional development. Introduction In 2015 the European Commission caused a buzz in the State aid community when it decided that investment aid granted to a small Polish airport […]

Public Funding of an Undertaking in a Closed Sector

Public funding of undertakings in sectors closed to competition does not constitute State aid. A sector is closed to competition when competition on and for the market is precluded by law. Introduction Determining when State aid does not affected cross-border trade is both difficult and tricky. But there is one exception; when the sector is closed to competition. A sector […]

State Guarantee to an Energy Project

A state guarantee can bridge the funding gap of an infrastructure project. Introduction State aid rules allow energy infrastructure projects to be supported by as much aid as is necessary to bridge their “funding gap”; i.e. the difference between the initial investment cost and the present value of their expected net operating revenue which is the future gross revenue minus […]

State Aid for i) Water Development ii) Travel

Aid to individuals in the context of social policy is compatible with the internal market as long as it is granted without discrimination on the origin of products or services. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 22 May 2020: 129* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 9; Article 107(3)(b): 111; Article 107(3)(c): 12 * Excludes amendments to previously notified […]

Public Funding of Infrastructure without State Aid

The existence of State aid must be checked at the level of both the direct and indirect beneficiaries who are the owners and users of infrastructure, respectively. If payments to private land owners are to be free of State aid, they must be calculated on the basis of an objective formula that takes into account the size and value of […]

The Incentive Effect of Public Funding of Infrastructure in Tranches

Public funding of functionally and commercially severable parts of an infrastructure project may have incentive effect even after construction is completed on some of the parts. A subsidy for the operation of a toll motorway may not constitute State aid.   Introduction State aid granted to a project that has already started lacks incentive effects and, therefore, cannot be found […]

Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition

State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not constitute State aid.   Introduction Large infrastructure projects are complex, encounter many unforeseen problems and often fall behind schedule for years. Consider, for […]

Correct Pricing for the Use of Publicly Funded Infrastructure

Publicly funded infrastructure must be made available to users at prices that correspond to its market value.   Introduction   When publicly-funded infrastructure is placed at the disposal of an undertaking, that undertaking must pay a market price, otherwise it derives an advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. But what is the market price? Is it the price […]

The Legal Basis of the (In)compatibility of Aid Must be Clear

The European Commission may withdraw a decision, but before it adopts a new decision it must give an opportunity to interested parties to submit their comments, especially, if it changes the legal basis of the assessment of the compatibility of the aid.   Introduction The most frequent reasons for which the Commission finds aid to be incompatible with the internal […]

State Aid is on the Agenda: Deal or No Deal

With great pleasure we welcome again Professor Erika Szyszczak to our blog. Erika is a Research Professor in Law and a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. She is currently the Special Adviser to the House of Lords Internal Market Sub-Committee in respect of its inquiry into Brexit: competition. She is the author of The Regulation of the State […]

State Aid Uncovered - infrastructure ×

Duplication of Infrastructure Does not Promote Regional Development

A private investor is not interested in regional development. A private investor recoups its investment in infrastructure from revenue from the operation of that infrastructure. Duplication of infrastructure does not contribute to regional development. Introduction In 2015 the European Commission caused a buzz in the State aid community when it decided that investment aid granted to a small Polish airport […]

Public Funding of an Undertaking in a Closed Sector

Public funding of undertakings in sectors closed to competition does not constitute State aid. A sector is closed to competition when competition on and for the market is precluded by law. Introduction Determining when State aid does not affected cross-border trade is both difficult and tricky. But there is one exception; when the sector is closed to competition. A sector […]

State Guarantee to an Energy Project

A state guarantee can bridge the funding gap of an infrastructure project. Introduction State aid rules allow energy infrastructure projects to be supported by as much aid as is necessary to bridge their “funding gap”; i.e. the difference between the initial investment cost and the present value of their expected net operating revenue which is the future gross revenue minus […]

State Aid for i) Water Development ii) Travel

Aid to individuals in the context of social policy is compatible with the internal market as long as it is granted without discrimination on the origin of products or services. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 22 May 2020: 129* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 9; Article 107(3)(b): 111; Article 107(3)(c): 12 * Excludes amendments to previously notified […]

Public Funding of Infrastructure without State Aid

The existence of State aid must be checked at the level of both the direct and indirect beneficiaries who are the owners and users of infrastructure, respectively. If payments to private land owners are to be free of State aid, they must be calculated on the basis of an objective formula that takes into account the size and value of […]

The Incentive Effect of Public Funding of Infrastructure in Tranches

Public funding of functionally and commercially severable parts of an infrastructure project may have incentive effect even after construction is completed on some of the parts. A subsidy for the operation of a toll motorway may not constitute State aid.   Introduction State aid granted to a project that has already started lacks incentive effects and, therefore, cannot be found […]

Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition

State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not constitute State aid.   Introduction Large infrastructure projects are complex, encounter many unforeseen problems and often fall behind schedule for years. Consider, for […]

Correct Pricing for the Use of Publicly Funded Infrastructure

Publicly funded infrastructure must be made available to users at prices that correspond to its market value.   Introduction   When publicly-funded infrastructure is placed at the disposal of an undertaking, that undertaking must pay a market price, otherwise it derives an advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. But what is the market price? Is it the price […]

The Legal Basis of the (In)compatibility of Aid Must be Clear

The European Commission may withdraw a decision, but before it adopts a new decision it must give an opportunity to interested parties to submit their comments, especially, if it changes the legal basis of the assessment of the compatibility of the aid.   Introduction The most frequent reasons for which the Commission finds aid to be incompatible with the internal […]

State Aid is on the Agenda: Deal or No Deal

With great pleasure we welcome again Professor Erika Szyszczak to our blog. Erika is a Research Professor in Law and a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. She is currently the Special Adviser to the House of Lords Internal Market Sub-Committee in respect of its inquiry into Brexit: competition. She is the author of The Regulation of the State […]

State Aid Uncovered - infrastructure ×

Duplication of Infrastructure Does not Promote Regional Development

A private investor is not interested in regional development. A private investor recoups its investment in infrastructure from revenue from the operation of that infrastructure. Duplication of infrastructure does not contribute to regional development. Introduction In 2015 the European Commission caused a buzz in the State aid community when it decided that investment aid granted to a small Polish airport […]

Public Funding of an Undertaking in a Closed Sector

Public funding of undertakings in sectors closed to competition does not constitute State aid. A sector is closed to competition when competition on and for the market is precluded by law. Introduction Determining when State aid does not affected cross-border trade is both difficult and tricky. But there is one exception; when the sector is closed to competition. A sector […]

State Guarantee to an Energy Project

A state guarantee can bridge the funding gap of an infrastructure project. Introduction State aid rules allow energy infrastructure projects to be supported by as much aid as is necessary to bridge their “funding gap”; i.e. the difference between the initial investment cost and the present value of their expected net operating revenue which is the future gross revenue minus […]

State Aid for i) Water Development ii) Travel

Aid to individuals in the context of social policy is compatible with the internal market as long as it is granted without discrimination on the origin of products or services. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 22 May 2020: 129* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 9; Article 107(3)(b): 111; Article 107(3)(c): 12 * Excludes amendments to previously notified […]

Public Funding of Infrastructure without State Aid

The existence of State aid must be checked at the level of both the direct and indirect beneficiaries who are the owners and users of infrastructure, respectively. If payments to private land owners are to be free of State aid, they must be calculated on the basis of an objective formula that takes into account the size and value of […]

The Incentive Effect of Public Funding of Infrastructure in Tranches

Public funding of functionally and commercially severable parts of an infrastructure project may have incentive effect even after construction is completed on some of the parts. A subsidy for the operation of a toll motorway may not constitute State aid.   Introduction State aid granted to a project that has already started lacks incentive effects and, therefore, cannot be found […]

Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition

State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not constitute State aid.   Introduction Large infrastructure projects are complex, encounter many unforeseen problems and often fall behind schedule for years. Consider, for […]

Correct Pricing for the Use of Publicly Funded Infrastructure

Publicly funded infrastructure must be made available to users at prices that correspond to its market value.   Introduction   When publicly-funded infrastructure is placed at the disposal of an undertaking, that undertaking must pay a market price, otherwise it derives an advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. But what is the market price? Is it the price […]

The Legal Basis of the (In)compatibility of Aid Must be Clear

The European Commission may withdraw a decision, but before it adopts a new decision it must give an opportunity to interested parties to submit their comments, especially, if it changes the legal basis of the assessment of the compatibility of the aid.   Introduction The most frequent reasons for which the Commission finds aid to be incompatible with the internal […]

State Aid is on the Agenda: Deal or No Deal

With great pleasure we welcome again Professor Erika Szyszczak to our blog. Erika is a Research Professor in Law and a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory. She is currently the Special Adviser to the House of Lords Internal Market Sub-Committee in respect of its inquiry into Brexit: competition. She is the author of The Regulation of the State […]

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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