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ARTICLES ∙ Excessive Widening of the Concept of Selectivity

Phedon Nicolaides


This article argues that different treatment of companies resulting from the application of different rules is not selective as long as any company has the option to choose the rule. A measure should be considered selective when it reserves different treatment only for certain companies. The article applies this reasoning to the judgment of the Court of Justice in the World Duty Free judgment of 21 December 2016 and concludes that the Court of Justice has widened excessively the concept of selectivity. The widening is excessive because it applies to otherwise general tax measures that offer options to companies to reduce their tax liability by carrying out particular activities.
Keywords: Selectivity; Taxation; Goodwill.

Phedon Nicolaides, Professor at the College of Europe and the University of Maastricht. I am grateful to Andrew Thomson, Dimitrios Kyriazis and the editors of this Journal for comments and suggestions on previous drafts. I am solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. DOI: 10.21552/estal/2017/1/9


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