Europäisches Beihilfenrecht Blog

State Aid Uncovered by Prof Phedon Nicolaides

In Lexxions Blog „State Aid Uncovered” veröffentlicht Prof. Phedon Nicolaides wöchentlich kritische Analysen zu den neuesten Urteilen und Entscheidungen zu staatlichen Beihilfen. Jeder Beitrag stellt die wichtigsten Punkte eines Gerichtsurteils oder einer EU-Kommissionsentscheidung vor, ordnet sie in den Kontext ähnlicher Rechtsprechung oder Praxis ein, bewertet die zugrundeliegende Argumentation und zeigt etwaige Ungereimtheiten oder Widersprüche auf.

In loser Folge werden auf diesem Blog auch Gastbeiträge von anderen Experten für staatliche Beihilfen veröffentlicht, welche die Inhalte der Blogbeiträge ergänzen.

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Professor at Maastricht University; Professor at University of Nicosia, and Academic Director at Lexxion Training

- Existing Aid ×

Special Tax Treatment for a Major Infrastructure Project

Introduction In April 2013, the Commission received a complaint alleging that State aid had been granted to the Oresund fixed link. The link is a major transport infrastructure project consisting of a bridge, an artificial island and tunnels between Denmark and Sweden. In October 2014, the Commission concluded that the public funding of the hinterland road and rail connections was […]

Public Procurement and State Aid

Introduction A faulty public procurement procedure or the use of discriminatory selection criteria can confer an advantage on the chosen undertaking that may constitute an advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. The result will be infringement of both public procurement rules and State aid rules. A recent Commission decision, SA.47650, is instructive on how Member States should design […]

State Aid May Have an Incentive Effect Even After the Start of Work: But Would it Favour Inefficient Operators?

Introduction Perhaps the most important aspect of the compatibility of State aid with the internal market is the presence of incentive effect. That is, the aid is capable of changing the behaviour of the recipient. If it does not, then public money is wasted because it has no effect on what happens on the market anyway. In principle, in order […]

State Resources Include all the Resources that Can be Directed by the State for its own Purposes

Introduction On 12 January 2023, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in joined cases C-702/20, DOBELES HES and C-17/21, Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisija.[1] A Latvian court requested the Court of Justice to provide a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 107(1) TFEU, Article 108(3) TFEU, Regulation 1407/2013 on de minimis aid and of the procedural Regulation 2015/1589. The […]

The Standard of Proof in State Aid Complaints and the “Informational Disadvantage” of Complainants

The Commission must use its investigative powers to seek clarification from Member States in order for it to establish whether a measure constitutes State aid, or is compatible aid, or is existing aid. Introduction Complaints are an important source of information to the Commission. The possibility afforded to undertakings to lodge such complaints with the Commission is intended to dissuade […]

When Does an Amendment of an Existing Aid Make it a New Aid?

Existing aid becomes new aid if any amendment affects the assessment of its compatibility with the internal market. Introduction Member States often amend and adjust State aid measures after they are approved by the Commission. Such changes must be carried carefully because they can turn an existing aid into new aid and all new aid has to be notified to […]

Existing Aid, New Aid and Retroactive Application of a Block Exemption Regulation

Changes to approved aid measures result in new aid. Only purely formal or administrative changes do not turn existing aid into new. Prolongation of an existing aid measure is not purely formal or administrative. Introduction Any change to an approved aid measure that affects its compatibility with the internal market turns it into a new aid that has to be […]

The Non-economic Nature of Certain IT Services for Higher Education

Publicly funded educational services are not economic in nature. Activities intrinsically linked to public tasks are not economic in nature. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published covid-19 measures, as of 21 August 2020: 262* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 28; Article 107(3)(b): 220; Article 107(3)(c): 20 Four Member States have implemented 16 or more covid-19 measures each: Belgium, […]

Existing v New Aid and Role of National Courts

Modification of an existing aid measure turns it into a new aid measure if it affects its compatibility with the internal market. National courts must also notify to the Commission any new aid measure they detect.   Introduction On 26 October 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑590/14 P, DEI v Commission.[1] DEI, the incumbent electricity producer in Greece appealed against […]

1) Selectivity of Health Tests 2) Existing v New Aid in Preferential Electricity Tariffs

A measure can be selective even if it applies to a whole sector. An existing aid measure becomes new when a court extends it temporarily.   Introduction This article reviews two judgments: one on BSE tests in Belgium and another on preferential electricity tariffs in Greece. The issue at hand with respect to the BSE test was whether a measure […]

- Existing Aid ×

Special Tax Treatment for a Major Infrastructure Project

Introduction In April 2013, the Commission received a complaint alleging that State aid had been granted to the Oresund fixed link. The link is a major transport infrastructure project consisting of a bridge, an artificial island and tunnels between Denmark and Sweden. In October 2014, the Commission concluded that the public funding of the hinterland road and rail connections was […]

Public Procurement and State Aid

Introduction A faulty public procurement procedure or the use of discriminatory selection criteria can confer an advantage on the chosen undertaking that may constitute an advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. The result will be infringement of both public procurement rules and State aid rules. A recent Commission decision, SA.47650, is instructive on how Member States should design […]

State Aid May Have an Incentive Effect Even After the Start of Work: But Would it Favour Inefficient Operators?

Introduction Perhaps the most important aspect of the compatibility of State aid with the internal market is the presence of incentive effect. That is, the aid is capable of changing the behaviour of the recipient. If it does not, then public money is wasted because it has no effect on what happens on the market anyway. In principle, in order […]

State Resources Include all the Resources that Can be Directed by the State for its own Purposes

Introduction On 12 January 2023, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in joined cases C-702/20, DOBELES HES and C-17/21, Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisija.[1] A Latvian court requested the Court of Justice to provide a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 107(1) TFEU, Article 108(3) TFEU, Regulation 1407/2013 on de minimis aid and of the procedural Regulation 2015/1589. The […]

The Standard of Proof in State Aid Complaints and the “Informational Disadvantage” of Complainants

The Commission must use its investigative powers to seek clarification from Member States in order for it to establish whether a measure constitutes State aid, or is compatible aid, or is existing aid. Introduction Complaints are an important source of information to the Commission. The possibility afforded to undertakings to lodge such complaints with the Commission is intended to dissuade […]

When Does an Amendment of an Existing Aid Make it a New Aid?

Existing aid becomes new aid if any amendment affects the assessment of its compatibility with the internal market. Introduction Member States often amend and adjust State aid measures after they are approved by the Commission. Such changes must be carried carefully because they can turn an existing aid into new aid and all new aid has to be notified to […]

Existing Aid, New Aid and Retroactive Application of a Block Exemption Regulation

Changes to approved aid measures result in new aid. Only purely formal or administrative changes do not turn existing aid into new. Prolongation of an existing aid measure is not purely formal or administrative. Introduction Any change to an approved aid measure that affects its compatibility with the internal market turns it into a new aid that has to be […]

The Non-economic Nature of Certain IT Services for Higher Education

Publicly funded educational services are not economic in nature. Activities intrinsically linked to public tasks are not economic in nature. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published covid-19 measures, as of 21 August 2020: 262* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 28; Article 107(3)(b): 220; Article 107(3)(c): 20 Four Member States have implemented 16 or more covid-19 measures each: Belgium, […]

Existing v New Aid and Role of National Courts

Modification of an existing aid measure turns it into a new aid measure if it affects its compatibility with the internal market. National courts must also notify to the Commission any new aid measure they detect.   Introduction On 26 October 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑590/14 P, DEI v Commission.[1] DEI, the incumbent electricity producer in Greece appealed against […]

1) Selectivity of Health Tests 2) Existing v New Aid in Preferential Electricity Tariffs

A measure can be selective even if it applies to a whole sector. An existing aid measure becomes new when a court extends it temporarily.   Introduction This article reviews two judgments: one on BSE tests in Belgium and another on preferential electricity tariffs in Greece. The issue at hand with respect to the BSE test was whether a measure […]

- Existing Aid ×

Special Tax Treatment for a Major Infrastructure Project

Introduction In April 2013, the Commission received a complaint alleging that State aid had been granted to the Oresund fixed link. The link is a major transport infrastructure project consisting of a bridge, an artificial island and tunnels between Denmark and Sweden. In October 2014, the Commission concluded that the public funding of the hinterland road and rail connections was […]

Public Procurement and State Aid

Introduction A faulty public procurement procedure or the use of discriminatory selection criteria can confer an advantage on the chosen undertaking that may constitute an advantage in the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU. The result will be infringement of both public procurement rules and State aid rules. A recent Commission decision, SA.47650, is instructive on how Member States should design […]

State Aid May Have an Incentive Effect Even After the Start of Work: But Would it Favour Inefficient Operators?

Introduction Perhaps the most important aspect of the compatibility of State aid with the internal market is the presence of incentive effect. That is, the aid is capable of changing the behaviour of the recipient. If it does not, then public money is wasted because it has no effect on what happens on the market anyway. In principle, in order […]

State Resources Include all the Resources that Can be Directed by the State for its own Purposes

Introduction On 12 January 2023, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in joined cases C-702/20, DOBELES HES and C-17/21, Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisija.[1] A Latvian court requested the Court of Justice to provide a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 107(1) TFEU, Article 108(3) TFEU, Regulation 1407/2013 on de minimis aid and of the procedural Regulation 2015/1589. The […]

The Standard of Proof in State Aid Complaints and the “Informational Disadvantage” of Complainants

The Commission must use its investigative powers to seek clarification from Member States in order for it to establish whether a measure constitutes State aid, or is compatible aid, or is existing aid. Introduction Complaints are an important source of information to the Commission. The possibility afforded to undertakings to lodge such complaints with the Commission is intended to dissuade […]

When Does an Amendment of an Existing Aid Make it a New Aid?

Existing aid becomes new aid if any amendment affects the assessment of its compatibility with the internal market. Introduction Member States often amend and adjust State aid measures after they are approved by the Commission. Such changes must be carried carefully because they can turn an existing aid into new aid and all new aid has to be notified to […]

Existing Aid, New Aid and Retroactive Application of a Block Exemption Regulation

Changes to approved aid measures result in new aid. Only purely formal or administrative changes do not turn existing aid into new. Prolongation of an existing aid measure is not purely formal or administrative. Introduction Any change to an approved aid measure that affects its compatibility with the internal market turns it into a new aid that has to be […]

The Non-economic Nature of Certain IT Services for Higher Education

Publicly funded educational services are not economic in nature. Activities intrinsically linked to public tasks are not economic in nature. Update on Temporary Framework: Number of approved and published covid-19 measures, as of 21 August 2020: 262* Legal basis: Article 107(2)(b): 28; Article 107(3)(b): 220; Article 107(3)(c): 20 Four Member States have implemented 16 or more covid-19 measures each: Belgium, […]

Existing v New Aid and Role of National Courts

Modification of an existing aid measure turns it into a new aid measure if it affects its compatibility with the internal market. National courts must also notify to the Commission any new aid measure they detect.   Introduction On 26 October 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑590/14 P, DEI v Commission.[1] DEI, the incumbent electricity producer in Greece appealed against […]

1) Selectivity of Health Tests 2) Existing v New Aid in Preferential Electricity Tariffs

A measure can be selective even if it applies to a whole sector. An existing aid measure becomes new when a court extends it temporarily.   Introduction This article reviews two judgments: one on BSE tests in Belgium and another on preferential electricity tariffs in Greece. The issue at hand with respect to the BSE test was whether a measure […]

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