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!

- competition ×

Health Insurance Based on Social Solidarity Is Non-economic

insurance protected
I am grateful to Peter Staviczky for comments on an earlier version of this article. I am, of course, solely responsible for the views expressed here. Public funding of health insurance systems based on social solidarity does not constitute State aid. Limited competition for the purpose of increasing efficiency does not affect the non-economic nature of such systems. Update on […]

When State Aid Gets Political

We are happy to receive a guest comment on the EU – UK post-Brexit trade negotiations from Professor Emerita, Erika Szyszczak, who is a Fellow of UKTPO at the University of Sussex. This is a longer version of an earlier Blog published on the UKTPO website. Control over State aid is a stumbling block for the future of an EU […]

COVID-19 Measures Adopted and State Aid Measures (Hopefully) to Be Adopted: An Update from Cyprus

Corona Virus
We are happy to share with you an update on the Covid-19 measures that are or will be adopted in Cyprus. Our guest auhor Michail Kamperis is a lawyer and partner at the law firm of Ierotheou, Kamperis & Co. LLC Nicosia, Cyprus. * Sign up for our free news alert  Sign Up For Free   Cyprus is one of […]

Follow Up Webinar with Phedon Nicolaides on ‚COVID-19 and State Aid Law‘ on 20 April

Woman sitting by the computer
The European Commission is working on quickly adapting the existing State aid legal framework to address the current Covid-19 pandemic. Join us on 20th April from the comfort and safety of your (home) office to get an insider update on the Covid-19 response by State aid experts from the European Commission and national governments. ✓ Join from wherever you are – […]

Not Every Compensation Is a Compensation in the Meaning of Altmark

Regulation and licensing do not constitute obligations for the provision of an SGEI. Compensation for changes in public policy is not compensation that complies with the Altmark conditions. Introduction The calculation of the compensation for the net extra costs of public service obligations [PSO] is a difficult task. On 15 May 2019, in case C-706/17, Achema et al v Lithuania […]

There Is No Threshold below which Economic Activities Can Be Considered to be Non-economic

Non-economic activities have to be accounted separately from economic activities. The exercise of public tasks assigned by the state cannot protect an undertaking from State aid rules. State aid distorts competition even when it aims to remedy distortions. Introduction Ports, like other transport infrastructures, may operate under public obligations some of which may be of economic and some of non-economic […]

Competitors’ Rights

A competitor must show that it is substantially affected by State aid approved by the Commission in order to challenge the Commission’s decision. Merely being affected by the aid is not enough. To show that aid has a substantial impact, it is first necessary to define the relevant market. This is different from the “distortion of competition” in the meaning […]

How Much May a Non-Economic Entity Charge without Becoming an Undertaking?

The price should not cover more than 50% of the costs. Introduction An entity that does not make profit can still be an undertaking. However, an entity that charges a fee for its services is not necessarily an undertaking. The EU Court of Justice has never defined how low such a fee must be in order for that entity to […]

Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition

State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not constitute State aid.   Introduction Large infrastructure projects are complex, encounter many unforeseen problems and often fall behind schedule for years. Consider, for […]

Advantage through Contracts

A price below the regulated normal price confers an advantage. Competition is distorted even when the aid recipient does not expand its operations.   Introduction An undertaking can obtain an advantage without receiving an outright grant. The advantage may be hidden in a contract for the supply of an essential input at reduced prices. This is the issue tackled by […]

Regional Aid for a Large Project subject to Individual Notification under the GBER

In the meaning of regional aid rules, diversification in a “new activity” is not the same as diversification in a “new product”. A “new process innovation” must be different, in the sense of being distinct from an existing process, must be substantial, in the sense that it covers the whole production process and must be new, in the sense that […]

Being a Competition and State Aid Trainee at the EFTA Surveillance Authority

efta
We are happy to welcome two young professionals on the State Aid Blog today. Guðmundur Guðmundsson and Amie Eliassen are trainees at EFTA Surveillance Authority in the Competition and State Aid Directorate and give their insights on working in this dynamic and multicultural work environment. You want to apply for a traineeship yourself? Read on for more information.   The […]

Remarks on the Infrastructure Section of the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid

Cable-stayed bridge across river Po in Northern Italy
Today we are glad to welcome once again Gian Marco Galletti as guest author on our State aid blog. He is a PhD Candidate & EU Law Tutor at the Dickson Poon School of Law of King’s College London. In this blog post he comments on the Commission’s new Notice on the notion of State aid. Thank you for your […]

An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease [1]

An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion that may render a measure de facto selective. The impact of a measure on trade and competition cannot be merely presumed just […]

Is the Commission Abusing its Discretion, or Should Member States be Allowed to Waste their Own Money?

businessman with a mask
The European State Aid Law Institute is celebrating the eleventh anniversary of its annual conference. For the past decade a perennial issue in EStALI events but also in similar events organised by other institutions has been the complaint of national officials that the rules on state aid are too intrusive and that the European Commission attempts to exert too much […]

- competition ×

Health Insurance Based on Social Solidarity Is Non-economic

insurance protected
I am grateful to Peter Staviczky for comments on an earlier version of this article. I am, of course, solely responsible for the views expressed here. Public funding of health insurance systems based on social solidarity does not constitute State aid. Limited competition for the purpose of increasing efficiency does not affect the non-economic nature of such systems. Update on […]

When State Aid Gets Political

We are happy to receive a guest comment on the EU – UK post-Brexit trade negotiations from Professor Emerita, Erika Szyszczak, who is a Fellow of UKTPO at the University of Sussex. This is a longer version of an earlier Blog published on the UKTPO website. Control over State aid is a stumbling block for the future of an EU […]

COVID-19 Measures Adopted and State Aid Measures (Hopefully) to Be Adopted: An Update from Cyprus

Corona Virus
We are happy to share with you an update on the Covid-19 measures that are or will be adopted in Cyprus. Our guest auhor Michail Kamperis is a lawyer and partner at the law firm of Ierotheou, Kamperis & Co. LLC Nicosia, Cyprus. * Sign up for our free news alert  Sign Up For Free   Cyprus is one of […]

Follow Up Webinar with Phedon Nicolaides on ‚COVID-19 and State Aid Law‘ on 20 April

Woman sitting by the computer
The European Commission is working on quickly adapting the existing State aid legal framework to address the current Covid-19 pandemic. Join us on 20th April from the comfort and safety of your (home) office to get an insider update on the Covid-19 response by State aid experts from the European Commission and national governments. ✓ Join from wherever you are – […]

Not Every Compensation Is a Compensation in the Meaning of Altmark

Regulation and licensing do not constitute obligations for the provision of an SGEI. Compensation for changes in public policy is not compensation that complies with the Altmark conditions. Introduction The calculation of the compensation for the net extra costs of public service obligations [PSO] is a difficult task. On 15 May 2019, in case C-706/17, Achema et al v Lithuania […]

There Is No Threshold below which Economic Activities Can Be Considered to be Non-economic

Non-economic activities have to be accounted separately from economic activities. The exercise of public tasks assigned by the state cannot protect an undertaking from State aid rules. State aid distorts competition even when it aims to remedy distortions. Introduction Ports, like other transport infrastructures, may operate under public obligations some of which may be of economic and some of non-economic […]

Competitors’ Rights

A competitor must show that it is substantially affected by State aid approved by the Commission in order to challenge the Commission’s decision. Merely being affected by the aid is not enough. To show that aid has a substantial impact, it is first necessary to define the relevant market. This is different from the “distortion of competition” in the meaning […]

How Much May a Non-Economic Entity Charge without Becoming an Undertaking?

The price should not cover more than 50% of the costs. Introduction An entity that does not make profit can still be an undertaking. However, an entity that charges a fee for its services is not necessarily an undertaking. The EU Court of Justice has never defined how low such a fee must be in order for that entity to […]

Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition

State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not constitute State aid.   Introduction Large infrastructure projects are complex, encounter many unforeseen problems and often fall behind schedule for years. Consider, for […]

Advantage through Contracts

A price below the regulated normal price confers an advantage. Competition is distorted even when the aid recipient does not expand its operations.   Introduction An undertaking can obtain an advantage without receiving an outright grant. The advantage may be hidden in a contract for the supply of an essential input at reduced prices. This is the issue tackled by […]

Regional Aid for a Large Project subject to Individual Notification under the GBER

In the meaning of regional aid rules, diversification in a “new activity” is not the same as diversification in a “new product”. A “new process innovation” must be different, in the sense of being distinct from an existing process, must be substantial, in the sense that it covers the whole production process and must be new, in the sense that […]

Being a Competition and State Aid Trainee at the EFTA Surveillance Authority

efta
We are happy to welcome two young professionals on the State Aid Blog today. Guðmundur Guðmundsson and Amie Eliassen are trainees at EFTA Surveillance Authority in the Competition and State Aid Directorate and give their insights on working in this dynamic and multicultural work environment. You want to apply for a traineeship yourself? Read on for more information.   The […]

Remarks on the Infrastructure Section of the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid

Cable-stayed bridge across river Po in Northern Italy
Today we are glad to welcome once again Gian Marco Galletti as guest author on our State aid blog. He is a PhD Candidate & EU Law Tutor at the Dickson Poon School of Law of King’s College London. In this blog post he comments on the Commission’s new Notice on the notion of State aid. Thank you for your […]

An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease [1]

An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion that may render a measure de facto selective. The impact of a measure on trade and competition cannot be merely presumed just […]

Is the Commission Abusing its Discretion, or Should Member States be Allowed to Waste their Own Money?

businessman with a mask
The European State Aid Law Institute is celebrating the eleventh anniversary of its annual conference. For the past decade a perennial issue in EStALI events but also in similar events organised by other institutions has been the complaint of national officials that the rules on state aid are too intrusive and that the European Commission attempts to exert too much […]

- competition ×

Health Insurance Based on Social Solidarity Is Non-economic

insurance protected
I am grateful to Peter Staviczky for comments on an earlier version of this article. I am, of course, solely responsible for the views expressed here. Public funding of health insurance systems based on social solidarity does not constitute State aid. Limited competition for the purpose of increasing efficiency does not affect the non-economic nature of such systems. Update on […]

When State Aid Gets Political

We are happy to receive a guest comment on the EU – UK post-Brexit trade negotiations from Professor Emerita, Erika Szyszczak, who is a Fellow of UKTPO at the University of Sussex. This is a longer version of an earlier Blog published on the UKTPO website. Control over State aid is a stumbling block for the future of an EU […]

COVID-19 Measures Adopted and State Aid Measures (Hopefully) to Be Adopted: An Update from Cyprus

Corona Virus
We are happy to share with you an update on the Covid-19 measures that are or will be adopted in Cyprus. Our guest auhor Michail Kamperis is a lawyer and partner at the law firm of Ierotheou, Kamperis & Co. LLC Nicosia, Cyprus. * Sign up for our free news alert  Sign Up For Free   Cyprus is one of […]

Follow Up Webinar with Phedon Nicolaides on ‚COVID-19 and State Aid Law‘ on 20 April

Woman sitting by the computer
The European Commission is working on quickly adapting the existing State aid legal framework to address the current Covid-19 pandemic. Join us on 20th April from the comfort and safety of your (home) office to get an insider update on the Covid-19 response by State aid experts from the European Commission and national governments. ✓ Join from wherever you are – […]

Not Every Compensation Is a Compensation in the Meaning of Altmark

Regulation and licensing do not constitute obligations for the provision of an SGEI. Compensation for changes in public policy is not compensation that complies with the Altmark conditions. Introduction The calculation of the compensation for the net extra costs of public service obligations [PSO] is a difficult task. On 15 May 2019, in case C-706/17, Achema et al v Lithuania […]

There Is No Threshold below which Economic Activities Can Be Considered to be Non-economic

Non-economic activities have to be accounted separately from economic activities. The exercise of public tasks assigned by the state cannot protect an undertaking from State aid rules. State aid distorts competition even when it aims to remedy distortions. Introduction Ports, like other transport infrastructures, may operate under public obligations some of which may be of economic and some of non-economic […]

Competitors’ Rights

A competitor must show that it is substantially affected by State aid approved by the Commission in order to challenge the Commission’s decision. Merely being affected by the aid is not enough. To show that aid has a substantial impact, it is first necessary to define the relevant market. This is different from the “distortion of competition” in the meaning […]

How Much May a Non-Economic Entity Charge without Becoming an Undertaking?

The price should not cover more than 50% of the costs. Introduction An entity that does not make profit can still be an undertaking. However, an entity that charges a fee for its services is not necessarily an undertaking. The EU Court of Justice has never defined how low such a fee must be in order for that entity to […]

Infrastructure Projects, State Guarantees and Distortion of Competition

State guarantees must be limited in duration and amount and the conditions for their mobilization must be defined in advance. Public funding to an operator in a closed sector does not affect trade and, therefore, does not constitute State aid.   Introduction Large infrastructure projects are complex, encounter many unforeseen problems and often fall behind schedule for years. Consider, for […]

Advantage through Contracts

A price below the regulated normal price confers an advantage. Competition is distorted even when the aid recipient does not expand its operations.   Introduction An undertaking can obtain an advantage without receiving an outright grant. The advantage may be hidden in a contract for the supply of an essential input at reduced prices. This is the issue tackled by […]

Regional Aid for a Large Project subject to Individual Notification under the GBER

In the meaning of regional aid rules, diversification in a “new activity” is not the same as diversification in a “new product”. A “new process innovation” must be different, in the sense of being distinct from an existing process, must be substantial, in the sense that it covers the whole production process and must be new, in the sense that […]

Being a Competition and State Aid Trainee at the EFTA Surveillance Authority

efta
We are happy to welcome two young professionals on the State Aid Blog today. Guðmundur Guðmundsson and Amie Eliassen are trainees at EFTA Surveillance Authority in the Competition and State Aid Directorate and give their insights on working in this dynamic and multicultural work environment. You want to apply for a traineeship yourself? Read on for more information.   The […]

Remarks on the Infrastructure Section of the Commission Notice on the Notion of State Aid

Cable-stayed bridge across river Po in Northern Italy
Today we are glad to welcome once again Gian Marco Galletti as guest author on our State aid blog. He is a PhD Candidate & EU Law Tutor at the Dickson Poon School of Law of King’s College London. In this blog post he comments on the Commission’s new Notice on the notion of State aid. Thank you for your […]

An Exception Is Not Necessarily Selective: The Case of the Spanish Tax Lease [1]

An exception from a tax system is not selective if it is a priori open to any tax payer. Checks by tax authorities to ensure that a measure is applied correctly do not constitute exercise of administrative discretion that may render a measure de facto selective. The impact of a measure on trade and competition cannot be merely presumed just […]

Is the Commission Abusing its Discretion, or Should Member States be Allowed to Waste their Own Money?

businessman with a mask
The European State Aid Law Institute is celebrating the eleventh anniversary of its annual conference. For the past decade a perennial issue in EStALI events but also in similar events organised by other institutions has been the complaint of national officials that the rules on state aid are too intrusive and that the European Commission attempts to exert too much […]

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!

Gastbeitrag einreichen

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