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!

- Spain ×

Spanish Football Clubs Score against the Commission: a) Linked Advantages and Disadvantages Must be Assessed Together b) In Determining the Existence of an Advantage, the Commission Must Explain both what it Takes into Account and what it Ignores

State measures which are linked and produce both positive and negative effects, must be considered together to determine whether they confer a net advantage to undertakings. Counter-guarantees must be taken into account to determine the existence of advantage even if they are provisional.   Introduction Member States have in a number of cases tried to defend tax reductions or tax […]

The Challenge of Identifying the Reference Tax System: The Spanish Goodwill Case, Again

To determine whether an aid measure is selective, the treatment of the beneficiaries has to be compared to those undertakings which are in a comparable position.   Introduction   On 15 November 2018, the General Court ruled in case T-239/11, Sigma Alimentos Exterior v European Commission.1 Sigma Alimentos Exterior (SAE), a Spanish company, appealed against Commission decision 2011/282 which found that […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part I

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Privatisation by Splitting the Assets

The sale of a public undertaking [privatisation] needs to be preceded by independent valuation and be carried out on the basis of a competitive procedure. Certain guarantees may be provided to prospective buyers, if they could increase the sale price. The break-up of an undertaking and the disposal of the different parts through separate sales should be shown to generate […]

The Cost of not Recovering Incompatible Aid

Flag of Spain
The Commission is not obliged to quantify precisely the amount of aid that has to be recovered. The Member State that fails to recover incompatible aid or fails to recover all of it risks legal action against both before national and EU courts. The Commission may initiate infringement proceedings and request the Court of Justice to impose penalties against the failing Member […]

Exceptional Circumstances, Natural Disasters, Commercial Risk and Rights of Complainants

tornado
This posting examines several recent measures which do not have a single common theme. However, each measure has unusual elements which should be of interest to State aid professionals. Exceptional circumstances: Commission Decision 2013/197 on aid to Cantiere Navale De Poli (IT)[1] The measure in question concerned State aid that Italy intended to provide to shipyard Cantiere Navale De Poli […]

- Spain ×

Spanish Football Clubs Score against the Commission: a) Linked Advantages and Disadvantages Must be Assessed Together b) In Determining the Existence of an Advantage, the Commission Must Explain both what it Takes into Account and what it Ignores

State measures which are linked and produce both positive and negative effects, must be considered together to determine whether they confer a net advantage to undertakings. Counter-guarantees must be taken into account to determine the existence of advantage even if they are provisional.   Introduction Member States have in a number of cases tried to defend tax reductions or tax […]

The Challenge of Identifying the Reference Tax System: The Spanish Goodwill Case, Again

To determine whether an aid measure is selective, the treatment of the beneficiaries has to be compared to those undertakings which are in a comparable position.   Introduction   On 15 November 2018, the General Court ruled in case T-239/11, Sigma Alimentos Exterior v European Commission.1 Sigma Alimentos Exterior (SAE), a Spanish company, appealed against Commission decision 2011/282 which found that […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part I

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Privatisation by Splitting the Assets

The sale of a public undertaking [privatisation] needs to be preceded by independent valuation and be carried out on the basis of a competitive procedure. Certain guarantees may be provided to prospective buyers, if they could increase the sale price. The break-up of an undertaking and the disposal of the different parts through separate sales should be shown to generate […]

The Cost of not Recovering Incompatible Aid

Flag of Spain
The Commission is not obliged to quantify precisely the amount of aid that has to be recovered. The Member State that fails to recover incompatible aid or fails to recover all of it risks legal action against both before national and EU courts. The Commission may initiate infringement proceedings and request the Court of Justice to impose penalties against the failing Member […]

Exceptional Circumstances, Natural Disasters, Commercial Risk and Rights of Complainants

tornado
This posting examines several recent measures which do not have a single common theme. However, each measure has unusual elements which should be of interest to State aid professionals. Exceptional circumstances: Commission Decision 2013/197 on aid to Cantiere Navale De Poli (IT)[1] The measure in question concerned State aid that Italy intended to provide to shipyard Cantiere Navale De Poli […]

- Spain ×

Spanish Football Clubs Score against the Commission: a) Linked Advantages and Disadvantages Must be Assessed Together b) In Determining the Existence of an Advantage, the Commission Must Explain both what it Takes into Account and what it Ignores

State measures which are linked and produce both positive and negative effects, must be considered together to determine whether they confer a net advantage to undertakings. Counter-guarantees must be taken into account to determine the existence of advantage even if they are provisional.   Introduction Member States have in a number of cases tried to defend tax reductions or tax […]

The Challenge of Identifying the Reference Tax System: The Spanish Goodwill Case, Again

To determine whether an aid measure is selective, the treatment of the beneficiaries has to be compared to those undertakings which are in a comparable position.   Introduction   On 15 November 2018, the General Court ruled in case T-239/11, Sigma Alimentos Exterior v European Commission.1 Sigma Alimentos Exterior (SAE), a Spanish company, appealed against Commission decision 2011/282 which found that […]

Exemption from Taxes that Protect the Environment May not be Selective – Part I

Member States have discretion to impose taxes that penalise environmentally harmful activities. Exemption of undertakings whose activities do not harm the environment does not constitute State aid whenever the exempted undertakings are not in a comparable situation.   Application of Article 107(1) to the Asturias tax   In this case, exempted establishments were those with sales area less than 4000m2 or […]

Privatisation by Splitting the Assets

The sale of a public undertaking [privatisation] needs to be preceded by independent valuation and be carried out on the basis of a competitive procedure. Certain guarantees may be provided to prospective buyers, if they could increase the sale price. The break-up of an undertaking and the disposal of the different parts through separate sales should be shown to generate […]

The Cost of not Recovering Incompatible Aid

Flag of Spain
The Commission is not obliged to quantify precisely the amount of aid that has to be recovered. The Member State that fails to recover incompatible aid or fails to recover all of it risks legal action against both before national and EU courts. The Commission may initiate infringement proceedings and request the Court of Justice to impose penalties against the failing Member […]

Exceptional Circumstances, Natural Disasters, Commercial Risk and Rights of Complainants

tornado
This posting examines several recent measures which do not have a single common theme. However, each measure has unusual elements which should be of interest to State aid professionals. Exceptional circumstances: Commission Decision 2013/197 on aid to Cantiere Navale De Poli (IT)[1] The measure in question concerned State aid that Italy intended to provide to shipyard Cantiere Navale De Poli […]

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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