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

Guest State Aid Blog ×

Green Energy Certificates

Introduction Certificates that confirm that an undertaking has bought a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources do not normally involve State aid because they are not traded. However, when they are tradeable and are granted by a public authority for free or for a fee that falls below their market value, they normally involve State aid as they confer […]

Obligations Imposed by the State Cannot Justify Tax Exemptions

Introduction Over the past decade or so, the European Commission has found that multiple port operators have benefitted from State aid in the form of tax exemptions. This aid was in all cases found to be incompatible with the internal market, despite the claims of the port operators that the state had imposed on the public service obligations or that […]

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 […]

Pricing of Access to Infrastructure for the Treatment of Waste Water

Introduction It is not unusual for EU courts to refer to the Commission’s 2016 Notice on the Notion of State Aid as a means of shedding light to the more obscure aspects of that notion. What is very unusual is for EU courts to treat the Notice as if it has the same status as the guidelines that bind the […]

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 […]

The Court of Justice Conflates Objective Justification with Policy Objective, in the context of Public Support of Green Electricity

Introduction Suppose a Member State subsidises the installation of solar panels on the roof of a corporate building situated at number 5 on Main Street. Is this a general measure because there is no other building in the whole country with the same address? Of course, it is not a general measure. The uniqueness of the address is irrelevant. Apart […]

State Aid and Arbitration of Disputes

Introduction On 22 February 2024, the Court of Justice [CJEU] delivered its judgment in joined Cases C-701/21 P and C-739/21 P, Mytilinaios v DEI & European Commission. Mytilinaios, a Greek company, and the Commission appealed against the judgment of the General Court in case T-639/14 RENV, DEI v Commission, concerning arbitration of a dispute between Mytilinaios and DEI, the main […]

Another Case of Indirect State Aid

Introduction On 19 May 2021, the General Court, in case T-643/20, Ryanair v Commission, annulled Commission decision SA.57116 by which it authorised State aid in favour of KLM in the context of the measures implemented by the Dutch government to address the covid-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the Commission re-adopted its original decision without the errors that had been identified […]

Indirect Advantage

Introduction It is an established principle in the State aid case law that Article 107(1) TFEU applies both to direct and possibly indirect aid beneficiaries. Yet, it is not always easy to identify any indirect beneficiaries. On 15 November 2023, the General Court, in case T-167/21, European Gaming and Betting Association v European Commission, faulted the latter for failing to […]

Guest State Aid Blog ×

Green Energy Certificates

Introduction Certificates that confirm that an undertaking has bought a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources do not normally involve State aid because they are not traded. However, when they are tradeable and are granted by a public authority for free or for a fee that falls below their market value, they normally involve State aid as they confer […]

Obligations Imposed by the State Cannot Justify Tax Exemptions

Introduction Over the past decade or so, the European Commission has found that multiple port operators have benefitted from State aid in the form of tax exemptions. This aid was in all cases found to be incompatible with the internal market, despite the claims of the port operators that the state had imposed on the public service obligations or that […]

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 […]

Pricing of Access to Infrastructure for the Treatment of Waste Water

Introduction It is not unusual for EU courts to refer to the Commission’s 2016 Notice on the Notion of State Aid as a means of shedding light to the more obscure aspects of that notion. What is very unusual is for EU courts to treat the Notice as if it has the same status as the guidelines that bind the […]

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 […]

The Court of Justice Conflates Objective Justification with Policy Objective, in the context of Public Support of Green Electricity

Introduction Suppose a Member State subsidises the installation of solar panels on the roof of a corporate building situated at number 5 on Main Street. Is this a general measure because there is no other building in the whole country with the same address? Of course, it is not a general measure. The uniqueness of the address is irrelevant. Apart […]

State Aid and Arbitration of Disputes

Introduction On 22 February 2024, the Court of Justice [CJEU] delivered its judgment in joined Cases C-701/21 P and C-739/21 P, Mytilinaios v DEI & European Commission. Mytilinaios, a Greek company, and the Commission appealed against the judgment of the General Court in case T-639/14 RENV, DEI v Commission, concerning arbitration of a dispute between Mytilinaios and DEI, the main […]

Another Case of Indirect State Aid

Introduction On 19 May 2021, the General Court, in case T-643/20, Ryanair v Commission, annulled Commission decision SA.57116 by which it authorised State aid in favour of KLM in the context of the measures implemented by the Dutch government to address the covid-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the Commission re-adopted its original decision without the errors that had been identified […]

Indirect Advantage

Introduction It is an established principle in the State aid case law that Article 107(1) TFEU applies both to direct and possibly indirect aid beneficiaries. Yet, it is not always easy to identify any indirect beneficiaries. On 15 November 2023, the General Court, in case T-167/21, European Gaming and Betting Association v European Commission, faulted the latter for failing to […]

Guest State Aid Blog ×

Green Energy Certificates

Introduction Certificates that confirm that an undertaking has bought a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources do not normally involve State aid because they are not traded. However, when they are tradeable and are granted by a public authority for free or for a fee that falls below their market value, they normally involve State aid as they confer […]

Obligations Imposed by the State Cannot Justify Tax Exemptions

Introduction Over the past decade or so, the European Commission has found that multiple port operators have benefitted from State aid in the form of tax exemptions. This aid was in all cases found to be incompatible with the internal market, despite the claims of the port operators that the state had imposed on the public service obligations or that […]

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 […]

Pricing of Access to Infrastructure for the Treatment of Waste Water

Introduction It is not unusual for EU courts to refer to the Commission’s 2016 Notice on the Notion of State Aid as a means of shedding light to the more obscure aspects of that notion. What is very unusual is for EU courts to treat the Notice as if it has the same status as the guidelines that bind the […]

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 […]

The Court of Justice Conflates Objective Justification with Policy Objective, in the context of Public Support of Green Electricity

Introduction Suppose a Member State subsidises the installation of solar panels on the roof of a corporate building situated at number 5 on Main Street. Is this a general measure because there is no other building in the whole country with the same address? Of course, it is not a general measure. The uniqueness of the address is irrelevant. Apart […]

State Aid and Arbitration of Disputes

Introduction On 22 February 2024, the Court of Justice [CJEU] delivered its judgment in joined Cases C-701/21 P and C-739/21 P, Mytilinaios v DEI & European Commission. Mytilinaios, a Greek company, and the Commission appealed against the judgment of the General Court in case T-639/14 RENV, DEI v Commission, concerning arbitration of a dispute between Mytilinaios and DEI, the main […]

Another Case of Indirect State Aid

Introduction On 19 May 2021, the General Court, in case T-643/20, Ryanair v Commission, annulled Commission decision SA.57116 by which it authorised State aid in favour of KLM in the context of the measures implemented by the Dutch government to address the covid-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the Commission re-adopted its original decision without the errors that had been identified […]

Indirect Advantage

Introduction It is an established principle in the State aid case law that Article 107(1) TFEU applies both to direct and possibly indirect aid beneficiaries. Yet, it is not always easy to identify any indirect beneficiaries. On 15 November 2023, the General Court, in case T-167/21, European Gaming and Betting Association v European Commission, faulted the latter for failing to […]

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