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ARTICLES – ENERGY AND STATE AID CONTROL ∙ The Inadequacy of EU State Aid Law and WTO Law on Subsidies to Regulate Energy Tax Reliefs


Alice Pirlot

The main objective of this paper is to assess whether EU State aid and WTO law on subsidies are effective and useful tools to regulate the use of energy tax reliefs, encompassing both allegedly ‘positive’ (i.e. environmental) aid measures as well as ‘negative’ (i.e. polluting) aid measures. Considering the need to face today’s environmental challenges, this paper relies on the assumption that energy tax reliefs in favour of environmentally friendly energy sources should be promoted where energy tax reliefs that no longer match today’s environmental challenges should be discouraged. This article analyses the extent to which current EU State aid and WTO law on subsidies put limit on the adoption of energy tax reliefs, either in favour of polluting energy sources or in favour of environmentally friendly energy sources. Finally, it reflects on the need to develop more consistent energy tax policies with regard to EU environmental and energy objectives.
Keywords: Energy Tax Relief; Green Subsidy; Energy-specific State aid and Subsidy Framework.

Dr Alice Pirlot, FNRS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Université catholique de Louvain; Email: DOI: 10.21552/estal/2017/1/6


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