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Latest Developments on the Interpretation of the Concept of Selectivity in the Field of Corporate Taxation

Lorenzo Panci


Keywords: Selectivity, Gibraltar, Tax Rulings, Tax Competition

The notion of material selectivity is key to defining the reach of State aid control. I will argue that the ECJ progressively endorsed an increasingly extensive interpretation of the selectivity requirement (which culminated in the Gibraltar judgment), making it easier for the European Commission to demonstrate its fulfilment. One of the consequences of this evolution was that State aid control became easier to use to pursue policy objectives. This was especially true in the context of taxation, despite the lack of harmonisation in this field. However, at the outset of the Gibraltar judgment, the General Court appeared to have taken a position that preserves the policy choices made at national level and this was possible by interpreting the selectivity condition as more difficult to fulfil. On the other hand, it appears that the Commission reacted to the Gibraltar judgment by using State aid control to pursue its policy objectives, in particular to contrast harmful tax competition among MS. Will the European Court of Justice endorse the approach taken by the Commission?
Keywords: Selectivity; Gibraltar; Tax Rulings; Tax Competition.

Lorenzo Panci graduated in law at Università degli Studi Roma Tre and received an LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2016. He was a junior associate at Chiomenti and, before that, worked for the European Investment Bank (EIB). The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. For correspondence: <>.


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