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One Time, Last Time, or Why the CE Oltenia Lignite Restructuring Aid Approval Makes for an Accident, Not a Precedent · Commission Decision on State Aid SA.59974 Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA · Annotation by Clemens Ziegler

Annotation on the Commission Decision of 26 January 2022 on the State Aid SA.59974 – 2021/C (ex 2020/N, ex 2020/PN) which Romania Partially Implemented for Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA

Clemens Ziegler


Keywords: energy, fossil fuels, environmental law, (in)consistency

The author considers the European Commission’s approval of the Romanian restructuring aid for Complexul Energetic Oltenia of January 2022 to be an accident. Allowing State aid for bankrupt undertakings’ investments in new fossil gas capacities without the conditions that are imposed on their competitors that would receive aid under the Commission’s Climate, Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines leads to incoherence in the Commission’s State aid practice. It distorts the market situation for decades in a way contradicting the spirit of the Commission’s Green Deal. The Decision also shows the need for improving civil society actors’ participation rights in State aid proceedings and related court proceedings.

Dr Clemens Ziegler, Rechtsanwalt (Germany), Attorney (New York), LLM (Georgetown University Law Center), is founding partner of the boutique law firm Ziegler State Aid AntiTrust (Ziegler SAAT) in Brussels. The author has been advising ClientEarth and Bankwatch, who acted as complainants and interested parties in the proceedings concerning the State aid measures discussed in this case annotation. For correspondence: <>.


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