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The Differentiated Assessment of the Criterion of State Resources: Instances Where ‘Public Control’ Is Decisive · Case C-556/19 Eco TLC · Annotation by Maria Segura and Alix Mengin

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber) of 21 October 2020 in Case C-556/19 Société Eco TLC v Ministre de la Transition écologique et solidaire et Ministre de l’Économie et des Finances

Maria Segura, Alix Mengin


Keywords: State resources, public control, extended producer responsibility scheme, no aid, preliminary ruling

In its judgment of 21 October 2020 regarding the request for a preliminary ruling from the French Conseil d’État in Case C-556/19 Eco TLC, the Court of Justice addresses the interpretation of the notion of ‘State resources’ under Article 107, paragraph 1, of the TFEU in the context of an extended producer responsibility scheme established in France. The system requires undertakings producing TLC products (textile, household linen and footwear) to cover the costs for management of waste from these products by paying a contribution to an eco-body, approved by the State which enters into agreements with sorting operators and provides them the necessary financial support for the recycling and treatment of said waste. The judgment confirms the necessity of a detailed and nuanced assessment of the facts of each case when it comes to the analysis of the criterion State resources. The outcome may have been surprising for the referring Court, as well as for practitioners, but follows a coherent approach with previous case law such as the EEG judgment or the landmark case PreussenElektra.

Maria Segura is a partner at Clayton & Segura and Alix Mengin works as legal adviser on EU State aid Law at the French Ministry in charge of local authorities.


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