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IFPEN: This is the End… of the French ‘EPIC’ State Aid Litigation Saga(s) · Joint Cases T-479/11 RENV and T-157/12 RENV IFPEN · Annotation by Jean-Alexandre Vaglio

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court (Eight Chamber) of 5 October 2020 in Joint Cases T-479/11 RENV and T-157/12 RENV French Republic and IFP Énergies nouvelles v European Commission

Jean-Alexandre Vaglio


Keywords: demonstration of advantage, burden of proof, simple presumption, principle of proportionality

The General Court finally closed the IFPEN saga with its judgment delivered on 5 October 2020 and which raised many interesting points. First, IFPEN was peculiar in the sense that, contrary to EDF and La Poste, it was an EPIC undertaking pursuing mainly non-economic activities. Second, this judgment enables the General Court to refine and illustrate the simple presumption defined by the Court of Justice in the La Poste judgment on its EPIC status. Finally, this case provides another reminder of the burden of proof resting on the Commission when it demonstrates the existence of an advantage and defines the conditions of compatibility of a State aid measure.

Jean-Alexandre Vaglio, PhD Candidate at the Centre de Droit Européen of the Université Panthéon-Assas; Avocat at the Paris Bar and Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Brussels). The author is writing in his own capacity and any views expressed here should not be attributed to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer or the Université Panthéon-Assas. The author was not involved in the case and has no conflict of interest with the parties. For correspondence: <>.


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