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‘Wait a Minute, Mr Postman’: On Universal Service, the Postal Services Directive and the SGEI Framework · Joined Cases C-431/19 P and C-432/19 P Inpost · Annotation by Joris Gruyters and Lennard Michaux

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Tenth Chamber) of 17 December 2020 in Joined Cases C-431/19 P and C-432/19 P Inpost Paczkomaty sp. z o.o. and Inpost S.A. v European Commission

Joris Gruyters, Lennard Michaux


Keywords: universal service obligation, SGEI framework, postal sector, transparency requirements, SGEI

On 17 December 2020, the Court of Justice brought an end to the Inpost saga, following the compatibility assessment by the Commission – and the subsequent appeal before the General Court – of an aid scheme for universal service obligations in the postal sector. Together, these decisions and judgments provide the opportunity to reflect on three more general issues of State aid law. First, the acceptable calculation method of ‘an unfair financial burden’ should be highlighted, a key notion in the Postal Services Directive. Second, the rules of interaction between non-State aid provisions of EU law and the aid analysis will be revisited. Third, and finally, the connection between the transparency requirements of the SGEI Framework and the public service inquiry has to be clarified.

Joris Gruyters and Lennard Michaux are researchers at the Institute for Consumer, Competition & Market at KU Leuven, Faculty of Law. For correspondence: <> and <>.


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