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

Guest State Aid Blog - Article 107 TFEU ×

The Compatibility of State Aid with the Internal Market: Lessons from “Hinkley Point C” – Part II

The objective of common interest that should be supported by state aid does not have to be an objective agreed by all Member States.   Existence of market failure and need for aid Austria and Luxembourg claimed that the intervention by the UK was not necessary and that there was no evidence that the liberalised market for the generation and […]

The Compatibility of State Aid with the Internal Market: Lessons from “Hinkley Point C” – Part I

The objective of common interest that should be supported by state aid does not have to be an objective agreed by all Member States.   Introduction On 12 July 2018, the General Court ruled in a complex case brought by Austria and Luxembourg against Commission decision 2015/658 which had authorised State aid for Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear power […]

The Definition of the Reference Tax System is still a Puzzle

A selective measure should be determined on the basis of its effects, not on the basis of the legally defined regulatory techniques.   Introduction A tax measure is selective in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU when it basically deviates from the normal tax system. In the case of a tax reduction or a tax exemption the normal system is […]

Danish Water Tax Exemption

A selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it does not confer an advantage that is proportionately larger than the magnitude of the tax reduction. A complete exemption of insignificant amounts of the taxable volume can be justified on the grounds of reducing administrative burden.     Introduction   Member States enjoy wide discretion to levy taxes on […]

The 2017 Annual Competition Report

Introduction   On 18 June 2018, the European Commission published its Annual Report on Competition Policy for 2017.[1] As usually, the Annual Report is accompanied by a Staff Working Paper that has almost four times as many pages as the Annual Report and provides more details on developments in all areas of competition policy, including State aid.The pre-eminent role of the […]

Remedying the Damage of a Natural Disaster through Incentives for New Investments

Damage from natural disasters can be remedied in the short-term through direct compensation or in the longer-term through investment subsidies to support new productive capacity.   Introduction   This article reviews a rather straightforward case which, however, is also quite unusual. It concerns a measure to remedy the effect of recent earthquakes in Italy. What makes it unusual is that […]

State Aid for the Deployment of Broadband Networks

Most State aid for the development of broadband networks is approved by the Commission. But the aid must be limited only to areas where market-based investments are unlikely to be made without aid.   Introduction   This article reviews a recent Commission decision authorising State aid for broadband development in the Netherlands which is one of the most networked countries […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part I

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Compensation for Public Service Obligations

Compensation for public service obligations may be fixed at less than the net extra costs of the provider of the public service to induce it to become more efficient.   Introduction   Every three years the UK determines the compensation it provides to the Post Office Limited (POL) for the extra costs of the public services it provides. Commission decision […]

Liquidity Support to Banks

Banks that receive State aid are considered to be failing banks, except when the aid is granted to solvent banks for the purpose of precautionary recapitalisation or temporary liquidity.   Introduction   During the past decade, large amounts of public funds have been committed to shore up failing or illiquid banks. Under current banking rules, the mere fact that a […]

Guest State Aid Blog - Article 107 TFEU ×

The Compatibility of State Aid with the Internal Market: Lessons from “Hinkley Point C” – Part II

The objective of common interest that should be supported by state aid does not have to be an objective agreed by all Member States.   Existence of market failure and need for aid Austria and Luxembourg claimed that the intervention by the UK was not necessary and that there was no evidence that the liberalised market for the generation and […]

The Compatibility of State Aid with the Internal Market: Lessons from “Hinkley Point C” – Part I

The objective of common interest that should be supported by state aid does not have to be an objective agreed by all Member States.   Introduction On 12 July 2018, the General Court ruled in a complex case brought by Austria and Luxembourg against Commission decision 2015/658 which had authorised State aid for Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear power […]

The Definition of the Reference Tax System is still a Puzzle

A selective measure should be determined on the basis of its effects, not on the basis of the legally defined regulatory techniques.   Introduction A tax measure is selective in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU when it basically deviates from the normal tax system. In the case of a tax reduction or a tax exemption the normal system is […]

Danish Water Tax Exemption

A selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it does not confer an advantage that is proportionately larger than the magnitude of the tax reduction. A complete exemption of insignificant amounts of the taxable volume can be justified on the grounds of reducing administrative burden.     Introduction   Member States enjoy wide discretion to levy taxes on […]

The 2017 Annual Competition Report

Introduction   On 18 June 2018, the European Commission published its Annual Report on Competition Policy for 2017.[1] As usually, the Annual Report is accompanied by a Staff Working Paper that has almost four times as many pages as the Annual Report and provides more details on developments in all areas of competition policy, including State aid.The pre-eminent role of the […]

Remedying the Damage of a Natural Disaster through Incentives for New Investments

Damage from natural disasters can be remedied in the short-term through direct compensation or in the longer-term through investment subsidies to support new productive capacity.   Introduction   This article reviews a rather straightforward case which, however, is also quite unusual. It concerns a measure to remedy the effect of recent earthquakes in Italy. What makes it unusual is that […]

State Aid for the Deployment of Broadband Networks

Most State aid for the development of broadband networks is approved by the Commission. But the aid must be limited only to areas where market-based investments are unlikely to be made without aid.   Introduction   This article reviews a recent Commission decision authorising State aid for broadband development in the Netherlands which is one of the most networked countries […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part I

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Compensation for Public Service Obligations

Compensation for public service obligations may be fixed at less than the net extra costs of the provider of the public service to induce it to become more efficient.   Introduction   Every three years the UK determines the compensation it provides to the Post Office Limited (POL) for the extra costs of the public services it provides. Commission decision […]

Liquidity Support to Banks

Banks that receive State aid are considered to be failing banks, except when the aid is granted to solvent banks for the purpose of precautionary recapitalisation or temporary liquidity.   Introduction   During the past decade, large amounts of public funds have been committed to shore up failing or illiquid banks. Under current banking rules, the mere fact that a […]

Guest State Aid Blog - Article 107 TFEU ×

The Compatibility of State Aid with the Internal Market: Lessons from “Hinkley Point C” – Part II

The objective of common interest that should be supported by state aid does not have to be an objective agreed by all Member States.   Existence of market failure and need for aid Austria and Luxembourg claimed that the intervention by the UK was not necessary and that there was no evidence that the liberalised market for the generation and […]

The Compatibility of State Aid with the Internal Market: Lessons from “Hinkley Point C” – Part I

The objective of common interest that should be supported by state aid does not have to be an objective agreed by all Member States.   Introduction On 12 July 2018, the General Court ruled in a complex case brought by Austria and Luxembourg against Commission decision 2015/658 which had authorised State aid for Hinkley Point C, a new nuclear power […]

The Definition of the Reference Tax System is still a Puzzle

A selective measure should be determined on the basis of its effects, not on the basis of the legally defined regulatory techniques.   Introduction A tax measure is selective in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU when it basically deviates from the normal tax system. In the case of a tax reduction or a tax exemption the normal system is […]

Danish Water Tax Exemption

A selective tax reduction does not constitute State aid if it does not confer an advantage that is proportionately larger than the magnitude of the tax reduction. A complete exemption of insignificant amounts of the taxable volume can be justified on the grounds of reducing administrative burden.     Introduction   Member States enjoy wide discretion to levy taxes on […]

The 2017 Annual Competition Report

Introduction   On 18 June 2018, the European Commission published its Annual Report on Competition Policy for 2017.[1] As usually, the Annual Report is accompanied by a Staff Working Paper that has almost four times as many pages as the Annual Report and provides more details on developments in all areas of competition policy, including State aid.The pre-eminent role of the […]

Remedying the Damage of a Natural Disaster through Incentives for New Investments

Damage from natural disasters can be remedied in the short-term through direct compensation or in the longer-term through investment subsidies to support new productive capacity.   Introduction   This article reviews a rather straightforward case which, however, is also quite unusual. It concerns a measure to remedy the effect of recent earthquakes in Italy. What makes it unusual is that […]

State Aid for the Deployment of Broadband Networks

Most State aid for the development of broadband networks is approved by the Commission. But the aid must be limited only to areas where market-based investments are unlikely to be made without aid.   Introduction   This article reviews a recent Commission decision authorising State aid for broadband development in the Netherlands which is one of the most networked countries […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part I

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Compensation for Public Service Obligations

Compensation for public service obligations may be fixed at less than the net extra costs of the provider of the public service to induce it to become more efficient.   Introduction   Every three years the UK determines the compensation it provides to the Post Office Limited (POL) for the extra costs of the public services it provides. Commission decision […]

Liquidity Support to Banks

Banks that receive State aid are considered to be failing banks, except when the aid is granted to solvent banks for the purpose of precautionary recapitalisation or temporary liquidity.   Introduction   During the past decade, large amounts of public funds have been committed to shore up failing or illiquid banks. Under current banking rules, the mere fact that a […]

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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