Europäisches Beihilfenrecht 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!

- national courts ×

Has an Economic Myth Become a Legal Fact? The Case of Turnover Taxes

Progressive turnover taxes are not contrary to the freedom of establishment or the right of equal treatment. Introduction Recent cases involving “turnover” taxes have sparked a debate in the literature and on the conference circuit not only because they raise novel issues but also because of their implications for other taxes which are being mooted by European governments. As Advocate-General […]

Enforcement of State Aid Rules by National Courts

Private enforcement has increased, but damages for illegal granting of State aid have been successfully claimed in just one case. Introduction   According to the annual competition report that was published in July, Member States use the GBER to implement 96% of their new aid measures.[1] This impressive outcome should be seen in conjunction with the recent rulings of the Court […]

EU Rules do not Impose a Time Limit on the Power of National Courts to Deal with Non-notified Aid

State aid may affect trade even when the market concerned is not liberalised. This can happen when the aid recipient also has operations outside that market, which it can cross-subsidise. Claims for damages caused by illegal aid must be accorded the same treatment under national law as any other claim resulting from faulty decisions of the state.   Introduction A […]

Pari Passu Is not Static

When comparing the behaviour of public and private creditors, it is necessary to ensure that their situations and interests do not diverge over time.   Introduction   When an undertaking owes money to a public authority the latter must use all available legal means to recover the money, including the liquidation of the undertaking and the sale of its assets. […]

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 […]

Non-economic Activities, Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible Aid and the Powers of National Courts

This article reviews three judgments that were all rendered on 15 September 2016. The first two concern the concept of economic activity. The third is about the rights of national courts to consider the correctness of Commission decisions. The Court of Justice has said clearly that national courts may not question Commission decisions.   Economic activity The first two cases […]

i) New v Existing State Aid ii) Exemption from VAT and Attribution to Member States iii) The Duty of National Courts to Protect Competitors from Illegal State aid

Aid that pre-exists the entry of a Member State into the EU is “existing” and does not have to be recovered. VAT exemptions authorised by the EU are not State aid. National courts must disregard national legal provisions that prevent them from acting against illegal aid.   Introduction This article examines a variety of issues: when State aid is existing […]

The Role of National Courts in Recovery of Incompatible State Aid

court house
Introduction In December I examined the judgment in the case of Lufthansa v Frankfurt-Hahn, which laid down certain obligations for national courts whenever they are petitioned to suspend and even recover aid that happens to be at the same time under investigation by the Commission. In this article I review the judgment of the Court of Justice of 13 February […]

- national courts ×

Has an Economic Myth Become a Legal Fact? The Case of Turnover Taxes

Progressive turnover taxes are not contrary to the freedom of establishment or the right of equal treatment. Introduction Recent cases involving “turnover” taxes have sparked a debate in the literature and on the conference circuit not only because they raise novel issues but also because of their implications for other taxes which are being mooted by European governments. As Advocate-General […]

Enforcement of State Aid Rules by National Courts

Private enforcement has increased, but damages for illegal granting of State aid have been successfully claimed in just one case. Introduction   According to the annual competition report that was published in July, Member States use the GBER to implement 96% of their new aid measures.[1] This impressive outcome should be seen in conjunction with the recent rulings of the Court […]

EU Rules do not Impose a Time Limit on the Power of National Courts to Deal with Non-notified Aid

State aid may affect trade even when the market concerned is not liberalised. This can happen when the aid recipient also has operations outside that market, which it can cross-subsidise. Claims for damages caused by illegal aid must be accorded the same treatment under national law as any other claim resulting from faulty decisions of the state.   Introduction A […]

Pari Passu Is not Static

When comparing the behaviour of public and private creditors, it is necessary to ensure that their situations and interests do not diverge over time.   Introduction   When an undertaking owes money to a public authority the latter must use all available legal means to recover the money, including the liquidation of the undertaking and the sale of its assets. […]

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 […]

Non-economic Activities, Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible Aid and the Powers of National Courts

This article reviews three judgments that were all rendered on 15 September 2016. The first two concern the concept of economic activity. The third is about the rights of national courts to consider the correctness of Commission decisions. The Court of Justice has said clearly that national courts may not question Commission decisions.   Economic activity The first two cases […]

i) New v Existing State Aid ii) Exemption from VAT and Attribution to Member States iii) The Duty of National Courts to Protect Competitors from Illegal State aid

Aid that pre-exists the entry of a Member State into the EU is “existing” and does not have to be recovered. VAT exemptions authorised by the EU are not State aid. National courts must disregard national legal provisions that prevent them from acting against illegal aid.   Introduction This article examines a variety of issues: when State aid is existing […]

The Role of National Courts in Recovery of Incompatible State Aid

court house
Introduction In December I examined the judgment in the case of Lufthansa v Frankfurt-Hahn, which laid down certain obligations for national courts whenever they are petitioned to suspend and even recover aid that happens to be at the same time under investigation by the Commission. In this article I review the judgment of the Court of Justice of 13 February […]

- national courts ×

Has an Economic Myth Become a Legal Fact? The Case of Turnover Taxes

Progressive turnover taxes are not contrary to the freedom of establishment or the right of equal treatment. Introduction Recent cases involving “turnover” taxes have sparked a debate in the literature and on the conference circuit not only because they raise novel issues but also because of their implications for other taxes which are being mooted by European governments. As Advocate-General […]

Enforcement of State Aid Rules by National Courts

Private enforcement has increased, but damages for illegal granting of State aid have been successfully claimed in just one case. Introduction   According to the annual competition report that was published in July, Member States use the GBER to implement 96% of their new aid measures.[1] This impressive outcome should be seen in conjunction with the recent rulings of the Court […]

EU Rules do not Impose a Time Limit on the Power of National Courts to Deal with Non-notified Aid

State aid may affect trade even when the market concerned is not liberalised. This can happen when the aid recipient also has operations outside that market, which it can cross-subsidise. Claims for damages caused by illegal aid must be accorded the same treatment under national law as any other claim resulting from faulty decisions of the state.   Introduction A […]

Pari Passu Is not Static

When comparing the behaviour of public and private creditors, it is necessary to ensure that their situations and interests do not diverge over time.   Introduction   When an undertaking owes money to a public authority the latter must use all available legal means to recover the money, including the liquidation of the undertaking and the sale of its assets. […]

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 […]

Non-economic Activities, Absolute Impossibility to Recover Incompatible Aid and the Powers of National Courts

This article reviews three judgments that were all rendered on 15 September 2016. The first two concern the concept of economic activity. The third is about the rights of national courts to consider the correctness of Commission decisions. The Court of Justice has said clearly that national courts may not question Commission decisions.   Economic activity The first two cases […]

i) New v Existing State Aid ii) Exemption from VAT and Attribution to Member States iii) The Duty of National Courts to Protect Competitors from Illegal State aid

Aid that pre-exists the entry of a Member State into the EU is “existing” and does not have to be recovered. VAT exemptions authorised by the EU are not State aid. National courts must disregard national legal provisions that prevent them from acting against illegal aid.   Introduction This article examines a variety of issues: when State aid is existing […]

The Role of National Courts in Recovery of Incompatible State Aid

court house
Introduction In December I examined the judgment in the case of Lufthansa v Frankfurt-Hahn, which laid down certain obligations for national courts whenever they are petitioned to suspend and even recover aid that happens to be at the same time under investigation by the Commission. In this article I review the judgment of the Court of Justice of 13 February […]

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 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 State aid 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!

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