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The Application of State Aid Rules to Markets Subject to Legal Monopolies · Case C-385/18 P Arriva Italia · Annotation by Federica Maldari journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Second Chamber) of 19 December 2019 in Case C-385/18 P Arriva Italia Srl and Others v Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti

Federica Maldari

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 19 (2020), Issue 1, Page 66 - 73

The Case at issue provides a guidance on the notions of advantage and distortion of competition for the purpose of classifying a State intervention as State aid, and a clarification on the application of the State aid rules to markets which are subject to legal monopolies. The Case arises from the Italian government’s intervention for the benefit of a State-owned operator in a serious financial situation, active in the railway and transport services sectors. In particular, the intervention concerns (i) the statutory allocation of € 70 million for the benefit of the operator and (ii) the transfer of the entire shareholding of the government in that operator, for no consideration, to another State-owned operator of the national railway infrastructure to restore the financial viability of the transferred company. Other public providers having an interest in the transferred company challenged the legality of those measures, arguing that they constitute State aid. Therefore, the Italian Council of State asked the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Articles 107 and 108(3) TFEU in respect to the afore-mentioned measures. Keywords: Legal Monopolies; Exclusive Rights; Transport Sector; State-Owned Operator.


The Individual Identification of Beneficiaries of State Aid and the Financing Mechanism · Case C-505/18 Copebi SCA v Établissement national des produits de l’agriculture et de la mer · Annotation by Federica Maldari journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (Fifth Chamber) of 13 June 2019 in Case C-505/18 Copebi SCA v Établissement national des produits de l’agriculture et de la mer.

Federica Maldari

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 4, Page 567 - 570

The Case deals with a legal dispute concerning the recovery of unlawful State aid in the fruit and vegetable sector under a Decision of the European Commission (EC), between Copebi SCA, one of the beneficiaries of the involved funds, and the French Republic. The dispute concerns the scope of the Decision of the EC, in so far as Copebi considered that the funds used were not covered by the Decision, which did not specifically mention the economic committee which paid them to Copebi. The beneficiary also argued the measure could not be covered by the Decision, since the financing mechanism of the funds was different from that described in it. The issues were referred to the Court of Justice (CJ) for a preliminary ruling, which concluded that the Decision must be interpreted as covering the funds paid to Copebi despite the fact that it didn’t mention the grantor of funds nor exact financing mechanism. Keywords: Recovery order; Contingency plans; Scope of Decision; Identification; Financing mechanism.


The Interest in Bringing Annulment Proceedings · Case C-544/17 P BPC Lux 2 Sàrl and Others v European Commission · Annotation by Federica Maldari journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (First Chamber) of 7 November 2018 in Case C-544/17 P BPC Lux 2 Sàrl and Others v European Commission

Federica Maldari

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 3, Page 398 - 403

The Case deals with the decision of Portuguese authorities to put Banco Espirito Santo SA (BES) into resolution and to immediately create a ‘Bridge Bank’. The Portuguese authorities notified to the EC the proposal to grant €4.899 million of State aid to the ‘Bridge Bank’ by way of initial share capital. The EC concluded that the State aid at issue was compatible with the internal market. BPC Lux 2 Sàrl and the other subordinated creditors of BES initiated proceedings before national courts and ultimately to the Court of the Justice of the European Union. On 7 November 2018, the Court of Justice rejected the General Court’s Order to dismiss the action as inadmissible due to lack of interest. Consequently, the Court of Justice confirmed the principle that an interest in bringing annulment proceedings may arise where the annulment might benefit the applicant in pending proceedings before national courts. Keywords: State aid; Financial crisis; Subordinated creditors; Damages; Annulment proceedings; National legal basis.

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