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!

- Distortion of Competition ×

A First Evaluation of Covid-19 State Aid

There is a significant variation across Member States in terms of the number of aid measures as well as the amount of aid. Introduction On 17 December 2020, the European Parliament published a report evaluating the impact of State aid to combat covid-19.[1] The report was requested by the committee responsible for economic policy. The report is probably the first […]

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 […]

Private Investor and Preferential Regulatory Treatment

pills on money
The existence of an advantage has to be proven, not presumed just because its absence cannot be confirmed. Preferential treatment may distort competition but it is not necessarily State aid if there is no transfer of state resources. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 5 June 2020: 148* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 13; Article 107(3)(b): 125; Article […]

How to Make Good the Damage Caused by a Natural Disaster

Compensation for costs incurred as a result of a natural disaster is State aid. The compensation must be for damage directly caused by the natural disaster. Introduction State aid to make good the damage caused by an “exceptional occurrence” such as the corona virus covid-19 is compatible with the internal market. The legal basis for exemption is Article 107(2)(b). Of […]

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 […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part III – Trade Effect, Distortion of Competition and Infrastructure

This is the third and last article in a series of three that reviews the Commission’s Notice on the Notion of State Aid.* Last week’s article analysed the concepts of advantage and selectivity. This week the focus is on the last two constituent elements of the notion of State aid: affectation of cross-border trade and distortion of competition. This article […]

Sport Facilities, the Balancing Test and Distortion of Competition

Aid measures that target persons with particular needs and who are not adequately provided by the market are not likely to be found to distort competition contrary to the common interest, even if there is some substitutability between the subsidised services and similar services provided by the market on commercial terms.   Introduction In August 2011, the Commission received a […]

Tax Exemptions Authorised by the Council of the EU

State aid is an objective concept. When the Commission assesses a measure it has to examine its effects and cannot be bound by a decision of the Council. A beneficiary of State aid cannot entertain legitimate expectations simply because the Commission does not appear to object to the aid.   Introduction On 22 April 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment […]

Is there an Advantage when the State Pays for Compulsory Milk Tests?

Undertakings obtain an advantage when the state pays for their normal costs. Normal costs are costs which are inherent in the operations of undertakings. The costs of meeting legal obligations are normal.   Introduction The case law on advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU says that aid confers an advantage to undertakings when they obtain a benefit that […]

Services of General Economic Interest: How to Compensate and Induce more Efficiency

Even traditional monopolists, like postal operators, have to comply with the rules on compensation for the extra costs of public service obligations. SGEI providers can be compensated in a way that induces them to become more efficient.   Introduction This article examines case Commission decision SA.38788 concerning compensation for the UK Post Office Ltd [POL] in the period 2015-18.[1] It is […]

- Distortion of Competition ×

A First Evaluation of Covid-19 State Aid

There is a significant variation across Member States in terms of the number of aid measures as well as the amount of aid. Introduction On 17 December 2020, the European Parliament published a report evaluating the impact of State aid to combat covid-19.[1] The report was requested by the committee responsible for economic policy. The report is probably the first […]

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 […]

Private Investor and Preferential Regulatory Treatment

pills on money
The existence of an advantage has to be proven, not presumed just because its absence cannot be confirmed. Preferential treatment may distort competition but it is not necessarily State aid if there is no transfer of state resources. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 5 June 2020: 148* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 13; Article 107(3)(b): 125; Article […]

How to Make Good the Damage Caused by a Natural Disaster

Compensation for costs incurred as a result of a natural disaster is State aid. The compensation must be for damage directly caused by the natural disaster. Introduction State aid to make good the damage caused by an “exceptional occurrence” such as the corona virus covid-19 is compatible with the internal market. The legal basis for exemption is Article 107(2)(b). Of […]

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 […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part III – Trade Effect, Distortion of Competition and Infrastructure

This is the third and last article in a series of three that reviews the Commission’s Notice on the Notion of State Aid.* Last week’s article analysed the concepts of advantage and selectivity. This week the focus is on the last two constituent elements of the notion of State aid: affectation of cross-border trade and distortion of competition. This article […]

Sport Facilities, the Balancing Test and Distortion of Competition

Aid measures that target persons with particular needs and who are not adequately provided by the market are not likely to be found to distort competition contrary to the common interest, even if there is some substitutability between the subsidised services and similar services provided by the market on commercial terms.   Introduction In August 2011, the Commission received a […]

Tax Exemptions Authorised by the Council of the EU

State aid is an objective concept. When the Commission assesses a measure it has to examine its effects and cannot be bound by a decision of the Council. A beneficiary of State aid cannot entertain legitimate expectations simply because the Commission does not appear to object to the aid.   Introduction On 22 April 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment […]

Is there an Advantage when the State Pays for Compulsory Milk Tests?

Undertakings obtain an advantage when the state pays for their normal costs. Normal costs are costs which are inherent in the operations of undertakings. The costs of meeting legal obligations are normal.   Introduction The case law on advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU says that aid confers an advantage to undertakings when they obtain a benefit that […]

Services of General Economic Interest: How to Compensate and Induce more Efficiency

Even traditional monopolists, like postal operators, have to comply with the rules on compensation for the extra costs of public service obligations. SGEI providers can be compensated in a way that induces them to become more efficient.   Introduction This article examines case Commission decision SA.38788 concerning compensation for the UK Post Office Ltd [POL] in the period 2015-18.[1] It is […]

- Distortion of Competition ×

A First Evaluation of Covid-19 State Aid

There is a significant variation across Member States in terms of the number of aid measures as well as the amount of aid. Introduction On 17 December 2020, the European Parliament published a report evaluating the impact of State aid to combat covid-19.[1] The report was requested by the committee responsible for economic policy. The report is probably the first […]

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 […]

Private Investor and Preferential Regulatory Treatment

pills on money
The existence of an advantage has to be proven, not presumed just because its absence cannot be confirmed. Preferential treatment may distort competition but it is not necessarily State aid if there is no transfer of state resources. Temporary Framework: Number of approved covid-19 measures, as of 5 June 2020: 148* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 13; Article 107(3)(b): 125; Article […]

How to Make Good the Damage Caused by a Natural Disaster

Compensation for costs incurred as a result of a natural disaster is State aid. The compensation must be for damage directly caused by the natural disaster. Introduction State aid to make good the damage caused by an “exceptional occurrence” such as the corona virus covid-19 is compatible with the internal market. The legal basis for exemption is Article 107(2)(b). Of […]

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 […]

Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid: Part III – Trade Effect, Distortion of Competition and Infrastructure

This is the third and last article in a series of three that reviews the Commission’s Notice on the Notion of State Aid.* Last week’s article analysed the concepts of advantage and selectivity. This week the focus is on the last two constituent elements of the notion of State aid: affectation of cross-border trade and distortion of competition. This article […]

Sport Facilities, the Balancing Test and Distortion of Competition

Aid measures that target persons with particular needs and who are not adequately provided by the market are not likely to be found to distort competition contrary to the common interest, even if there is some substitutability between the subsidised services and similar services provided by the market on commercial terms.   Introduction In August 2011, the Commission received a […]

Tax Exemptions Authorised by the Council of the EU

State aid is an objective concept. When the Commission assesses a measure it has to examine its effects and cannot be bound by a decision of the Council. A beneficiary of State aid cannot entertain legitimate expectations simply because the Commission does not appear to object to the aid.   Introduction On 22 April 2016, the General Court rendered its judgment […]

Is there an Advantage when the State Pays for Compulsory Milk Tests?

Undertakings obtain an advantage when the state pays for their normal costs. Normal costs are costs which are inherent in the operations of undertakings. The costs of meeting legal obligations are normal.   Introduction The case law on advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU says that aid confers an advantage to undertakings when they obtain a benefit that […]

Services of General Economic Interest: How to Compensate and Induce more Efficiency

Even traditional monopolists, like postal operators, have to comply with the rules on compensation for the extra costs of public service obligations. SGEI providers can be compensated in a way that induces them to become more efficient.   Introduction This article examines case Commission decision SA.38788 concerning compensation for the UK Post Office Ltd [POL] in the period 2015-18.[1] It is […]

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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