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State Resources Doctrine Rebooted · Case C‑405/16 P Federal Republic of Germany v European Commission (EEG) · Annotation by Theodoros Iliopoulos

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (Third Chamber) of 28 March 2019 in Case C‑405/16 P Federal Republic of Germany v European Commission (EEG).

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/estal/2019/4/13

Theodoros G. Iliopoulos


The judgment in the Case C-405/16 P has culminated the struggle between Germany and the Commission over the German law for the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources. Germany has argued that the legislation at issue followed the PreussenElektra model and does not constitute State aid, while the Commission and the General Court have adopted the opposite stance. In March 2019, the Court of Justice judgment in appeal held that there was no State aid involved and set aside the General Court judgment. Thus, a restrictive interpretation of the obfuscated ‘State resources’ criterion was reinstated, which takes State aid law theory back to its roots and makes the PreussenElektra doctrine actual again. The judgment can to a large extent shape how State aid law will apply in the next years and determine the possibility of Member States to circumvent the State aid law restrictions when enacting measures for the promotion of renewable energy sources, but also for other policy objectives.
Keywords: State resources criterion; Support schemes for renewable energy sources; Feed-in and premium tariffs; EEG 2012.

Theodoros G Iliopoulos is a doctoral researcher in Energy and Environmental Law at Hasselt University. For correspondence: <mailto:theodoros.iliopoulos@uhasselt.be>.

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