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Environmental Protection: Contributions Channeled by Eco-Body Should not Involve the Transfer of State Resources · Case C-556/19 ECO TLC · Annotation by Sylvain Petit journal article

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

Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 20 (2021), Issue 1, Page 139 - 143

On 21 October 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down a preliminary ruling on the notion of ‘State resources’ regarding the French increased responsibility scheme for producers of waste from textile products, household linen and footwear products (TLC products). The CJEU ruled that a system set up by the State whereby producers of TLC products pay financial contributions to an eco-body which then enters into an agreement with sorting operators and provide them financial support for the recycling and treatment operations of the waste, may not constitute an intervention through State resources. This ruling emphasizes that the notion of ‘public control’ lies in the details: a range of circumstantial evidences is required to determine the extent of the public oversight over the funds channelled between private operators.



Tax Rulings and State Aid Qualification: Should Reality Matter? journal article

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 2, Page 233 - 242

In its decisional practice developing tax ruling, the European Commission uses a theoretical reasoning that can in some instances appear somewhat disconnected from the facts of the cases. Indeed, all these cases boil down to one single determination (whether the concerned transfer prices were – or not – set at market levels) and the satisfaction of all the conditions for the existence of State aid derive directly from this (rather theoretical) question alone. Little to no account taken of important factual elements (such as for example the context of international fiscal competition) and several conclusions appear to be presumed rather than demonstrated (for example the distortion of competition). One therefore remains with the general impression that State aid law remains into a sort of exception to the rest of competition law: an area of law where reality does not (really) matter. Keywords: Tax Ruling; Selectivity; Advantage; Distortion of Competition; Counterfactual.


European Commission v World Duty Free Group, formerly Autogrill España SA, Banco Santander SA, Santusa Holding SL  ∙ Joined Cases C-20/15P and C-21/15 P ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud and Sylvain Petit journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Grand Chamber) of 21 December 2016 in Joined Cases C-20/15P and C-21/15P Commission v. World Duty Free Group

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 2, Page 310 - 315

On 21 December 2016, in the Spanish fiscal aid cases, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union struck down the General Court’s attempt of November 2014 to introduce an innovative interpretation of the notion of selectivity. Whereas the General Court had required the identification of a category of undertakings when a fiscal measure is potentially accessible to all undertakings, the Court of Justice adopted a rather conservative approach and merely restated its settled case-law. This case note analyses the law as restated by the Court and addresses some of the criticisms that have recently surfaced. Keywords: Fiscal Aid; Notion of Selectivity; Category of Undertaking; Discrimination; Burden of Proof.


Orange v. European Commission  ∙ C-211/15 P ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud and Sylvain Petit journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber) of 26 October 2016 in Case C-211/15 P Orange v. European Commission

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 1, Page 82 - 85

On 26 October 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter ‘the CJEU’) rejected France Télécom’s (now rebranded Orange) appeal in the case relating to the reform of the arrangements for financing the pensions of civil servants working for that company. The Court followed its Advocate General (hereinafter ‘the AG’) and upheld the European Commission’s (hereinafter ‘the Commission’) decision. By doing so, the CJEU strongly affirmed that there is no room left for a defence based on the compensation of a structural disadvantage. Keywords: Compensation; Structural Disadvantage; Selectivity; Dual Derogation.


IFP v Commission: the Commission Does Not Meet the Standard of Proof  ∙ IFP Énergies nouvelles v Commission  ∙ Joined Cases T-479/11 and T- 157/12 ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud and Sylvain Petit journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) of 26 May 2016 in Joined Cases T-479/11 and T- 157/12 France and IFP Énergies nouvelles v Commission

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 15 (2016), Issue 3, Page 468 - 470

The General Court annulled the Commission’s decision qualifying as State aid an unlimited implied guarantee granted by the French State to the Institut français du pétrole (French Petroleum Institute). The General Court took the view that the Commission had not proven that the guarantee had the effect of conferring an actual economic advantage on the Institut français du pétrole. Key words: Presumption of Advantage; Effect of the Advantage; Standard of Proof; Unlimited State Guarantee.


BVVG Bodenverwertungs-und –verwaltungs GmbH  ∙ Case C-39/14 ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud and Sylvain Petit journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber) of the 16 July 2015 in Case C-39/14, BVVG Bodenverwertungs-und –verwaltungs GmbH

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 15 (2016), Issue 1, Page 142 - 144

On 15 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereinafter the ECJ or the Court) handed down a preliminary ruling regarding the possibility for a public authority to discard the highest offer in a bidding procedure and sell at a lower price. The ECJ ruled that an offer which seems grossly disproportionate with the market price can be discarded without necessarily triggering State aid. The explicit reasoning of the Court does not in our view allow to fully understand the outcome of the case; we therefore provide below a personal explanation of the solution adopted by the Court. Keywords: Public Sales of Land; Market Value; Market Economy Investor Princple.


France v Commission and Orange v Commission  ∙ Case T-135/12 and Case T-385/12  ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud and Sylvain Petit journal article

Combined Case Annotation on Judgments T-135/12 and T-385/12

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 14 (2015), Issue 4, Page 528 - 532

On 26 February 2015, the General Court of the European Union (hereinafter the GC or the General Court) handed down two judgments on the issue of compensation for ‘structural’ disadvantages. In line with recent case-law, the GC ruled that measures imposed by public authorities to compensate for ‘structural’ disadvantages entail an advantage for the beneficiary and can therefore be considered as State aid. The GC’s approach effectively makes it impossible to invoke the argument of structural disadvantage at the stage of State aid qualification. Furthermore, this approach has the undesirable consequence of shifting the analysis of distortion of competition at the stage of compatibility, rather than qualification. The appeal brought by the French Republic and France Télécom in this case may give the ECJ the occasion to stir back closer to the letter of Article 107 TFEU. Keywords: Structural Disadvantage, Pension Scheme, Proportionality, Privatisation


Spanish Fiscal Aid Cases ∙ T-219/10, T-399/11 and T-140/13 ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud and Sylvain Petit journal article

Combined Annotation on Case T-219/10, Autogrill España v. Commission, Case T-399/11, Banco Santander and Santusa v. Commission, and Case T-140/13, Netherlands Maritime Technology Association

Adrien Giraud, Sylvain Petit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 14 (2015), Issue 2, Page 295 - 300

Over the last two months of 2014, the General Court of the European Union (hereinafter ‘the GC’) handed down three interesting judgments that deserve a closer look because of their insights on the controversial topic of the notion of selectivity in the context of taxation measures. Although they are not exactly ground breaking, they do provide a useful reminder of the difference between the notions of advantage and of selectivity. More importantly, we however argue below that they may signal a new and more profound trend: that of insisting that the competitive analysis be placed back into State aid law. Keywords: Fiscal aid; Notion of advantage; Notion of selectivity; Category of undertakings

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