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ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ Damages Claims Based on State Aid Law Infringements

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/estal/2017/3/10

Joanna Goyder, Margot Dons


Damages claims based on State aid law infringements may be brought in a number of situations. There is an EU law cause of action, and sometimes also a national law basis, for claims by competitors of the aid recipient, or by third parties, against the Member State or other body which granted the aid. Competitors may also claim damages from the beneficiary, but such claims can only be brought if national law provides a cause of action. Finally, the recipient itself may claim damages from the granting Member State or other body, but an EU law cause of action will normally not be available, so such a claim will also generally have to be based on national law. All these types of damages claim are rare in practice, and even more rarely successful. The main reason for this appears to be the difficulty for claimants to prove causation and to quantify their loss.
Keywords: Damages Claims; Infringements; Enforcement Notice; National Courts.

Joanna Goyder, Senior Knowledge Lawyer, and Margot Dons, Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Brussels. An earlier version of this paper was prepared for the European Judicial Training Network seminar ‘EU State aid rules and national judges: substantive and procedural issues’, Barcelona, 8-10 March 2017.

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