Since 2002 Lexxion Publisher’s European State Aid Law Quarterly – EStAL serves as a forum for dialogue and deliberation on all issues related to State aid. On the occasion of our 15th anniversary special feature we have gathered our State aid family to reflect upon their joint journey together with our precious EStAL and of course our favourite topic State aid. Throughout our jubilee year we will introduce you to our State aid aficionados providing original and behind-the-scenes insights into our community of experts including our distinct editorial board members, country correspondents, regular contributors and more.
When and how did you get involved with State aid Law?
I am Associate University Professor for European Law and Public International Law. I became involved with State Aid Law when writing my “Dissertation” (doctorate thesis) which dealt with State aid granted to Low Cost Carriers at regional airports. Since then I am co-editor of a yearbook on State Aid Law (Jahrbuch Beihilferecht – with Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Jaeger), co-author of the Commentary on State Aid Law (C. H. Beck) and published various articles in that field.
Why is State aid law important?
State Aid Law is important as it is one part of European competition Law that is not addressed to undertakings but directly to the Member States. It is an interesting field as there are a lot of materials in addition to the primary rules of treaty law. The State Aid Modernisation Package brought a lot of clarifications, which are very important. However, nowadays, a huge amount of rules exists, which makes it rather difficult to find out whether there is a specific rule for the case at hand. On the other hand, this is what makes State Aid Law so interesting. Another point is that State Aid is granted in a variety of ways, in different sectors and for different reasons, which again makes it a very special and interesting topic to deal with.
What is the role of EStAL? Is it a policy monitor or policy shaper?
EStAL is a journal which is always at point in relation to important developments. It profits from esteemed researchers and the review process every article has to pass. The part “News of the Member States” is unique and of high importance to get to know the State Aid practice of other Member States. Therefore, EStAL in my opinion is both. A policy-monitor, but also a policy-shaper.
How has State aid law evolved over the years? What do you wish for the future of EStAL?
The major developments are the above-mentioned State Aid Modernisation initiative, the package in relation to the financial crises, the General Block Exemption Regulation and many others. In my personal career, the Altmark-judgment and the Commission decision Ryanair/ Charleroi were the most important milestones. For the future of EStAL I wish that it remains what it already is: an excellent journal dealing with the most relevant topics of EU State Aid Law.
Thank you very much Birgit for your kind wishes! We are looking forward to maintain EStAL’s quality with you by our side!