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Locus Standi in State Aid Litigation After Montessori

Valérie Noël, Sébastien Thomas


Keywords: admissibility, locus standi, regulatory act, direct concern, regulatory act not entailing implementing measures, right not to be subject to competition distorted

In the Montessori ruling, the Court of justice confirmed the right of competitors of an aid scheme to bring an appeal against a Commission decision relating to this scheme. The ruling provides a flexible interpretation of the three conditions laid down in the third limb of Article 263(4) TFEU. We analyze the judgment of the Court and show that it creates differences in the ability of competitors of beneficiaries of State aid to access EU courts. Access is easier if the aid flows from a state aid regime rather than if the aid is granted individually. The Montessori ruling could have important implications for the notion of 'direct concern' in other areas of EU law such as anti-dumping. To date, the Court seems to restrict the use of the Montessori ruling to rules on State aid. This approach could create confusion and lead to more stringent conditions regarding the notion of direct concern in other areas of EU law.
Keywords: admissibility; locus standi; regulatory act; direct concern; regulatory act not entailing implementing measures; right not to be subject to competition distorted
Milestones Preview: this article is based on a chapter of the upcoming second edition of the book 'Milestones in State Aid Case Law' (Lexxion 2022).

Valérie Noël and Sébastien Thomas are Legal Secretaries (référendaires) at the General Court of the European Union. For correspondence: <> and <>. The views reflected in this article are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the institution.


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