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Madeira Free Trade Zone: New or Existing Aid? · Case T-131/21 Região Autónoma da Madeira v Commission · Annotation by Jorge Risueño

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court (Fifth Chamber) of 21 June 2023, in Case T-131/21 Região Autónoma da Madeira v European Commission.

Jorge Risueño


Keywords: Regional operating aid, outermost region, annulment, new aid, recovery of unlawful aid

This case note concerns Região Autónoma da Madeira’s (RAM) action for annulment of the Commission decision relating the aid scheme SA.21259 (2018/C) implemented by Portugal in favour of the free trade zone of Madeira.1 The General Court’s judgment presents a unique opportunity to analyse some key State aid concepts, including procedural aspects, such as the admissibility of infra-State bodies; concepts relating to the notion of State aid, such as the selectivity criterion; and concepts relating to the phase of recovery of unlawful aid, including the principles of legitimate expectations, legal certainty and proportionality and the limitation period. This note also addresses the Court’s assessment of whether aid is new or existing.

Jorge Risueño is an Associate Lawyer in Broseta Abogados S.L.P, specialising in State aid and institutional relations. For correspondence: <>.


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