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United Textiles: A Missed Opportunity  ∙ Case C-363/16 European Commission v Greece ∙ Annotation  by Wout De Cock and Julie Leroy

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber) of 17 January 2018 in Case C-363/16 European Commission v Greece

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/estal/2018/2/14

Wout De Cock, Julie Leroy


It is well established that the financial situation of an (insolvent) aid beneficiary does not lead, in principle, to an absolute impossibility to recover unlawful and incompatible State aid. In the annotated case, a Member State argued that it should be entitled to suspend the insolvency proceedings in order to examine the possible relaunch of the insolvent beneficiary’s activities. In this annotation, we discuss the findings of the European Court of Justice with regard to this question and argue that the Court’s findings remain vague and unclear. Furthermore, we discuss the relevant date to assess the failure to recover aid from an insolvent beneficiary and the duty of loyal cooperation between Member States and the Commission. In general, it is argued that the judgment is, in contrast to (parts of) the Opinion of the Advocate General, a mere confirmation of former case law and somewhat disappointing.Keywords: Recovery of unlawful State aid; Financial situation (insolvent) beneficiary; Possibility to suspend recovery proceedings and relaunch activities - Article 108(2)(2) TFEU; Date for assessing failure to recover; Duty of loyal cooperation

Wout De Cock, PhD candidate, Free University of Brussels and Part-time Teaching Assistant, Catholic University of Leuven. Julie Leroy, PhD candidate, Hasselt University - Law, Tax & Business Unit. For correspondence: <mailto:Wout.de.cock@vub>; <mailto:Julie.leroy@uhasselt.be>.

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