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.

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- taxes ×

The Problem with Turnover Taxes

Economies of scale do not necessarily correlate with ability to pay. Introduction On Thursday, 11 July 2019, France became the first European country to adopt a tax on digital sales. At about the same time, President Donald Trump warned that the US would retaliate with punitive tariffs. The US believes that the tax is aimed at its internet giants such […]

What Happens when Internal Market Rules and State Aid Rules Clash?

A tax refund may not be granted, if it constitutes non-notified State aid.   Introduction   It is a well-established principle that restrictions on internal market rights or freedoms may not be attached to a State aid measure. Indeed, current State aid rules [e.g. GBER, guidelines] explicitly exclude from their scope any aid measure which is inseparably linked to a […]

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Tax Inseparably Linked to State Aid

Taxes which are inseparably linked with an aid measure are assessed together with the aid itself.  An increase of the budget of an aid scheme by more than 20% constitutes a change of existing aid that must be notified to the Commission for prior authorisation.   Introduction Taxpayers may not refuse to pay taxes on the grounds that the tax […]

Selectivity Can Exist at Different Levels: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease System

transport ship
A tax measure may be selective in relation to both intermediate and final beneficiaries.  An undertaking may enjoy a selective advantage even if it passes all tax benefits to other parties.   Introduction A measure that is not selective at one level may be selective at another level and a measure that is selective at one level can also be […]

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 […]

Funding of the Spanish Public Broadcaster and Hypothecation of Taxes

Tax payers have grounds to object to a tax on the basis of Article 107(1) TFEU only when the tax is “asymmetrical” or when it is “hypothecated” to an aid measure.   Introduction On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑449/14 P, DTS v European Commission.[1] DTS, a Spanish television company, appealed against the judgment of the General […]

Airport Infrastructure, Public Remit and the MEOT

A public authority, acting as a private investor, may provide finance which is free of state aid to an airport and at the same time grant state aid to the same airport. Public funding of activities that fall within the exclusive tasks of the state is not state aid. When a public authority defines the activities that fall within the […]

Levying Taxes to Fund Public Broadcasters

broadcast tower
Taxes may not be examined by the Commission in the context of Article 107 even if they finance State aid measures. By contrast, the Commission may examine a tax in the context of its assessment of the compatibility of aid with the internal market when the tax is inseparable from an aid measure. A tax is inseparable from an aid […]

- taxes ×

The Problem with Turnover Taxes

Economies of scale do not necessarily correlate with ability to pay. Introduction On Thursday, 11 July 2019, France became the first European country to adopt a tax on digital sales. At about the same time, President Donald Trump warned that the US would retaliate with punitive tariffs. The US believes that the tax is aimed at its internet giants such […]

What Happens when Internal Market Rules and State Aid Rules Clash?

A tax refund may not be granted, if it constitutes non-notified State aid.   Introduction   It is a well-established principle that restrictions on internal market rights or freedoms may not be attached to a State aid measure. Indeed, current State aid rules [e.g. GBER, guidelines] explicitly exclude from their scope any aid measure which is inseparably linked to a […]

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Tax Inseparably Linked to State Aid

Taxes which are inseparably linked with an aid measure are assessed together with the aid itself.  An increase of the budget of an aid scheme by more than 20% constitutes a change of existing aid that must be notified to the Commission for prior authorisation.   Introduction Taxpayers may not refuse to pay taxes on the grounds that the tax […]

Selectivity Can Exist at Different Levels: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease System

transport ship
A tax measure may be selective in relation to both intermediate and final beneficiaries.  An undertaking may enjoy a selective advantage even if it passes all tax benefits to other parties.   Introduction A measure that is not selective at one level may be selective at another level and a measure that is selective at one level can also be […]

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 […]

Funding of the Spanish Public Broadcaster and Hypothecation of Taxes

Tax payers have grounds to object to a tax on the basis of Article 107(1) TFEU only when the tax is “asymmetrical” or when it is “hypothecated” to an aid measure.   Introduction On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑449/14 P, DTS v European Commission.[1] DTS, a Spanish television company, appealed against the judgment of the General […]

Airport Infrastructure, Public Remit and the MEOT

A public authority, acting as a private investor, may provide finance which is free of state aid to an airport and at the same time grant state aid to the same airport. Public funding of activities that fall within the exclusive tasks of the state is not state aid. When a public authority defines the activities that fall within the […]

Levying Taxes to Fund Public Broadcasters

broadcast tower
Taxes may not be examined by the Commission in the context of Article 107 even if they finance State aid measures. By contrast, the Commission may examine a tax in the context of its assessment of the compatibility of aid with the internal market when the tax is inseparable from an aid measure. A tax is inseparable from an aid […]

- taxes ×

The Problem with Turnover Taxes

Economies of scale do not necessarily correlate with ability to pay. Introduction On Thursday, 11 July 2019, France became the first European country to adopt a tax on digital sales. At about the same time, President Donald Trump warned that the US would retaliate with punitive tariffs. The US believes that the tax is aimed at its internet giants such […]

What Happens when Internal Market Rules and State Aid Rules Clash?

A tax refund may not be granted, if it constitutes non-notified State aid.   Introduction   It is a well-established principle that restrictions on internal market rights or freedoms may not be attached to a State aid measure. Indeed, current State aid rules [e.g. GBER, guidelines] explicitly exclude from their scope any aid measure which is inseparably linked to a […]

Justification of a Tax Exemption

Prevention of excessive taxation may justify tax exemption. Prevention of abuse may justify limits to the tax exemption.   Introduction   A tax exemption may not constitute state aid if it is justified by reasons which are linked to the nature or general scheme of the tax system. This is what the Court of Justice said on 19 December 2018, […]

Tax Inseparably Linked to State Aid

Taxes which are inseparably linked with an aid measure are assessed together with the aid itself.  An increase of the budget of an aid scheme by more than 20% constitutes a change of existing aid that must be notified to the Commission for prior authorisation.   Introduction Taxpayers may not refuse to pay taxes on the grounds that the tax […]

Selectivity Can Exist at Different Levels: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease System

transport ship
A tax measure may be selective in relation to both intermediate and final beneficiaries.  An undertaking may enjoy a selective advantage even if it passes all tax benefits to other parties.   Introduction A measure that is not selective at one level may be selective at another level and a measure that is selective at one level can also be […]

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 […]

Funding of the Spanish Public Broadcaster and Hypothecation of Taxes

Tax payers have grounds to object to a tax on the basis of Article 107(1) TFEU only when the tax is “asymmetrical” or when it is “hypothecated” to an aid measure.   Introduction On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in case C‑449/14 P, DTS v European Commission.[1] DTS, a Spanish television company, appealed against the judgment of the General […]

Airport Infrastructure, Public Remit and the MEOT

A public authority, acting as a private investor, may provide finance which is free of state aid to an airport and at the same time grant state aid to the same airport. Public funding of activities that fall within the exclusive tasks of the state is not state aid. When a public authority defines the activities that fall within the […]

Levying Taxes to Fund Public Broadcasters

broadcast tower
Taxes may not be examined by the Commission in the context of Article 107 even if they finance State aid measures. By contrast, the Commission may examine a tax in the context of its assessment of the compatibility of aid with the internal market when the tax is inseparable from an aid measure. A tax is inseparable from an aid […]

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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