Europäisches Beihilfenrecht Blog

State Aid Uncovered 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

- funding gap ×

An Innovative Risk-Sharing Tool for the Support of an LNG Terminal

Introduction The Commission, in decision SA.102163, authorised State aid for the construction of a terminal for liquefied natural gas [LNG] in Brunsbüttel, Germany.1 The project consists of an LNG import, storage and distribution facility with annual capacity of about 10 billion m3. The project is carried out by the German LNG Terminal GmbH [GLNG] which has three shareholders: the Dutch […]

Applying the Funding Gap Method to an Important Project of Common European Interest – Part II

Introduction On 28 February 2024, the General Court delivered an important judgment in case T-390/20, Scandlines v Commission.(1) The judgment is important because it interpreted the Commission guidelines on Important Projects of Common European Interest [IPCEI], the funding gap methodology for determining the necessary amount of aid and the 2008 Commission Notice on state guarantees. Scandlines sought annulment of Commission […]

Applying the Funding Gap Method to an Important Project of Common European Interest – Part I

Introduction On 28 February 2024, the General Court delivered an important judgment in case T-390/20, Scandlines v Commission.(1) The judgment is important because it interpreted the Commission guidelines on Important Projects of Common European Interest [IPCEI], the funding gap methodology for determining the necessary amount of aid and the 2008 Commission Notice on state guarantees. Scandlines sought annulment of Commission […]

Decarbonisation

Introduction The Netherlands intends to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses [GHG] by 55% by the year 2050. For this reason, in June 2023 it notified to the Commission a new version of a scheme, called the “Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie en Klimaattransitie” [SDE++] which loosely translated means incentivising sustainable production of energy and climate transition. Its purpose is to fund […]

Electricity Storage

Introduction As indicated by its title, the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework [TCTF] allows for State aid whose purpose goes beyond the immediate relief of the costs of the market disruption caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Europe’s energy policy does not only aim to reduce dependence on Russian gas, but also to shift to low or zero carbon […]

Decarbonisation of Steel Production

Introduction Many, perhaps the majority, of notifications on the basis of the Guidelines on Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy [CEEAG] concern decarbonisation of production processes. In this context, large amounts of State aid have been funnelled to the decarbonisation of steel production. ArcelorMittal has been a major beneficiary. In February 2023, Spain granted EUR 460 million to support ArcelorMittal to […]

Public Funding of an Energy Infrastructure Project

State aid up to 100% of the funding gap of a project can be compatible with the internal market. Introduction The European Commission approved investment aid for a Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] terminal in Alexandroupolis in northern Greece [case SA.55526]. The project involves the following: A Floating Storage Regasification Unit [FSRU] for the storage and regasification of LNG. The construction […]

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 […]

The Boundaries of Non-Economic Infrastructure and the Limits of the Funding Gap Method

Public funding of assets which are used exclusively by certain undertakings constitutes State aid. If the state chooses to fund certain assets or activities, then it must do so consistently in all regions and in relation to all affected undertakings.   Introduction A typical mission of the state is to provide public goods. Normally public funding of public goods is […]

The New Guidelines on State Aid to Airports and Airlines: Problematic Issues (part 2)

Introduction Last week I reviewed the main provisions of the new Guidelines on State Aid to Airports and Airlines. This week I focus on three issues which are either not well explained or too ambiguous, leaving too much room for creative interpretation. [1] Investment funding gap The new Guidelines, like the other new rules, stress that aid must have an incentive […]

- funding gap ×

An Innovative Risk-Sharing Tool for the Support of an LNG Terminal

Introduction The Commission, in decision SA.102163, authorised State aid for the construction of a terminal for liquefied natural gas [LNG] in Brunsbüttel, Germany.1 The project consists of an LNG import, storage and distribution facility with annual capacity of about 10 billion m3. The project is carried out by the German LNG Terminal GmbH [GLNG] which has three shareholders: the Dutch […]

Applying the Funding Gap Method to an Important Project of Common European Interest – Part II

Introduction On 28 February 2024, the General Court delivered an important judgment in case T-390/20, Scandlines v Commission.(1) The judgment is important because it interpreted the Commission guidelines on Important Projects of Common European Interest [IPCEI], the funding gap methodology for determining the necessary amount of aid and the 2008 Commission Notice on state guarantees. Scandlines sought annulment of Commission […]

Applying the Funding Gap Method to an Important Project of Common European Interest – Part I

Introduction On 28 February 2024, the General Court delivered an important judgment in case T-390/20, Scandlines v Commission.(1) The judgment is important because it interpreted the Commission guidelines on Important Projects of Common European Interest [IPCEI], the funding gap methodology for determining the necessary amount of aid and the 2008 Commission Notice on state guarantees. Scandlines sought annulment of Commission […]

Decarbonisation

Introduction The Netherlands intends to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses [GHG] by 55% by the year 2050. For this reason, in June 2023 it notified to the Commission a new version of a scheme, called the “Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie en Klimaattransitie” [SDE++] which loosely translated means incentivising sustainable production of energy and climate transition. Its purpose is to fund […]

Electricity Storage

Introduction As indicated by its title, the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework [TCTF] allows for State aid whose purpose goes beyond the immediate relief of the costs of the market disruption caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Europe’s energy policy does not only aim to reduce dependence on Russian gas, but also to shift to low or zero carbon […]

Decarbonisation of Steel Production

Introduction Many, perhaps the majority, of notifications on the basis of the Guidelines on Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy [CEEAG] concern decarbonisation of production processes. In this context, large amounts of State aid have been funnelled to the decarbonisation of steel production. ArcelorMittal has been a major beneficiary. In February 2023, Spain granted EUR 460 million to support ArcelorMittal to […]

Public Funding of an Energy Infrastructure Project

State aid up to 100% of the funding gap of a project can be compatible with the internal market. Introduction The European Commission approved investment aid for a Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] terminal in Alexandroupolis in northern Greece [case SA.55526]. The project involves the following: A Floating Storage Regasification Unit [FSRU] for the storage and regasification of LNG. The construction […]

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 […]

The Boundaries of Non-Economic Infrastructure and the Limits of the Funding Gap Method

Public funding of assets which are used exclusively by certain undertakings constitutes State aid. If the state chooses to fund certain assets or activities, then it must do so consistently in all regions and in relation to all affected undertakings.   Introduction A typical mission of the state is to provide public goods. Normally public funding of public goods is […]

The New Guidelines on State Aid to Airports and Airlines: Problematic Issues (part 2)

Introduction Last week I reviewed the main provisions of the new Guidelines on State Aid to Airports and Airlines. This week I focus on three issues which are either not well explained or too ambiguous, leaving too much room for creative interpretation. [1] Investment funding gap The new Guidelines, like the other new rules, stress that aid must have an incentive […]

- funding gap ×

An Innovative Risk-Sharing Tool for the Support of an LNG Terminal

Introduction The Commission, in decision SA.102163, authorised State aid for the construction of a terminal for liquefied natural gas [LNG] in Brunsbüttel, Germany.1 The project consists of an LNG import, storage and distribution facility with annual capacity of about 10 billion m3. The project is carried out by the German LNG Terminal GmbH [GLNG] which has three shareholders: the Dutch […]

Applying the Funding Gap Method to an Important Project of Common European Interest – Part II

Introduction On 28 February 2024, the General Court delivered an important judgment in case T-390/20, Scandlines v Commission.(1) The judgment is important because it interpreted the Commission guidelines on Important Projects of Common European Interest [IPCEI], the funding gap methodology for determining the necessary amount of aid and the 2008 Commission Notice on state guarantees. Scandlines sought annulment of Commission […]

Applying the Funding Gap Method to an Important Project of Common European Interest – Part I

Introduction On 28 February 2024, the General Court delivered an important judgment in case T-390/20, Scandlines v Commission.(1) The judgment is important because it interpreted the Commission guidelines on Important Projects of Common European Interest [IPCEI], the funding gap methodology for determining the necessary amount of aid and the 2008 Commission Notice on state guarantees. Scandlines sought annulment of Commission […]

Decarbonisation

Introduction The Netherlands intends to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses [GHG] by 55% by the year 2050. For this reason, in June 2023 it notified to the Commission a new version of a scheme, called the “Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie en Klimaattransitie” [SDE++] which loosely translated means incentivising sustainable production of energy and climate transition. Its purpose is to fund […]

Electricity Storage

Introduction As indicated by its title, the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework [TCTF] allows for State aid whose purpose goes beyond the immediate relief of the costs of the market disruption caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Europe’s energy policy does not only aim to reduce dependence on Russian gas, but also to shift to low or zero carbon […]

Decarbonisation of Steel Production

Introduction Many, perhaps the majority, of notifications on the basis of the Guidelines on Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy [CEEAG] concern decarbonisation of production processes. In this context, large amounts of State aid have been funnelled to the decarbonisation of steel production. ArcelorMittal has been a major beneficiary. In February 2023, Spain granted EUR 460 million to support ArcelorMittal to […]

Public Funding of an Energy Infrastructure Project

State aid up to 100% of the funding gap of a project can be compatible with the internal market. Introduction The European Commission approved investment aid for a Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG] terminal in Alexandroupolis in northern Greece [case SA.55526]. The project involves the following: A Floating Storage Regasification Unit [FSRU] for the storage and regasification of LNG. The construction […]

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 […]

The Boundaries of Non-Economic Infrastructure and the Limits of the Funding Gap Method

Public funding of assets which are used exclusively by certain undertakings constitutes State aid. If the state chooses to fund certain assets or activities, then it must do so consistently in all regions and in relation to all affected undertakings.   Introduction A typical mission of the state is to provide public goods. Normally public funding of public goods is […]

The New Guidelines on State Aid to Airports and Airlines: Problematic Issues (part 2)

Introduction Last week I reviewed the main provisions of the new Guidelines on State Aid to Airports and Airlines. This week I focus on three issues which are either not well explained or too ambiguous, leaving too much room for creative interpretation. [1] Investment funding gap The new Guidelines, like the other new rules, stress that aid must have an incentive […]

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 to Nelly Stratieva at stratieva@lexxion.eu.

Step 2: We at Lexxion 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 publish your post.

Gastbeitrag einreichen

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