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Illegal Aid Grafted to Public Service Contracts · Case T-292/17 Région Île-de-France · Annotation by Jakub Kociubiński journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court (First Chamber) of 12 July 2019 in Case T-292/17 Région Île-de-France v European Commission (Bus Services)

Jakub Kociubiński

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 19 (2020), Issue 2, Page 199 - 204

The subsidy scheme for certain transport undertakings in Île-de-France has been found by the European Commission to be unlawful State aid but ultimately compatible with the Internal Market. Yet, breach of the obligation to notify, declared in the Commission's decision, have resulted in its repeal by national courts and with subsequent adoption of a recovery order of previously received subsidies. Which in turn has led to (unsuccessful) action for the annulment of the Commission's decision in an attempt to eliminate the original legal basis for recovery. The following issues were raised: grounds for classifying a measure as new aid; extent of the obligation to state reasons; the fulfilment of selectivity and advantage criteria.


State Aid and the Free Movement Provisions · Case C-598/17 A-Fonds v Inspecteur van de Belastingdienst · Annotation by Marc Custers and Boyd Wolffers journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (First Chamber) of 2 May 2019 in Case C-598/17 A-Fonds v Inspecteur van de Belastingdienst.

Marc Custers, Boyd Wolffers

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 4, Page 561 - 566

This annotation explores the relation between the free movement provisions and State aid in the light of the A-Fonds Case. In A-Fonds, the Court of Justice of the European Union dealt with the question whether a national court may conclude that a measure infringes the freedom of capital with respect to a measure that had been declared State aid by the Commission. A finding that the national court may test the contested measure against the free movement provisions (for the years that the measure constituted existing aid) would have as its result that the measure must be made available to comparable foreign taxpayers. Existing aid should in that case be extended. But that would not have been the only result: such conclusion would have broad consequences. The CJ rules in the A-Fonds Case that the national court may not test the contested measure against the free movement provisions, but has ruled differently in other Cases when dealing with the same issue. This annotation provides an analysis of the different approaches that the CJ took when deciding whether a State aid measure may be tested against the free movement provisions together with the consequences of the different approaches. Keywords: Free movement provisions; Freedom of capital; Existing aid; New aid; National courts; Direct taxation.



The Never Ending ‘Saga’ of the Fallimento Traghetti del Mediterraneo · Case C-387/17 Traghetti del Mediterraneo · Annotation by Alessandra Franchi journal article

Annotation of the judgment of the Court of Justice (First Chamber) of 23 January 2019 in Case C-387/17 Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri v Fallimento Traghetti del Mediterraneo

Alessandra Franchi

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 3, Page 391 - 397

This judgment continues the ‘saga’ related to the litigation between Fallimento Traghetti del Mediterraneo and the Italian State concerning the unlawful State aid granted to Tirrenia di Navigazione SpA as compensation for public service obligations from 1976 to 1980 and shows the complexity of the assessments by national courts on damages related to the granting of unlawful State aid. The CJ provides guidance on the notion of existing aid, clarifying that State aid measures which were granted in a period when the maritime cabotage market was not yet liberalized at Union level cannot be classified as existing aid because of the merely formal absence of liberalisation of that market, to the extent that those subsidies were liable to affect trade between Member States and distorted or threatened to distort competition. The CJ also emphasises the cooperation obligation of the national courts and their role in awarding damages related to the distortion of competition created by unlawful State aid. Member State cannot invoke the principle of legitimate expectation in case of breach of the notification obligation set in Article 108 (3) TFEU. Finally, the CJ clarifies that the ten-year limitation period set out in Article 15, paragraph 1, of Regulation 659/1999 (repealed by Regulation 2015/1589), only applies to Commission investigation under Article 108, paragraph 3, TFEU and only refers to the Commission’s power and time limit for recovery of illegal aid, but does not apply in damages proceedings before the national jurisdictions. Keywords: Existing aid; Recovery; National enforcement; Prescription; Damages.


Alteration to an Existing State Aid · Cases C-510/16 Carrefour, C-492/17 Südwestrundfunk and T-679/16 Athletic Club · Annotation by Benjamin Cheynel journal article

Annotations on the Judgments of the Court of Justice (Fourth Chamber) of 20 September 2018 in Case C-510/16 Carrefour Hypermarchés and Others, of 13 December 2018 in Case C-492/17 Südwestrundfunk v Tilo Rittinger and Others, and of the General Court (Fourth Chamber) of 26 February 2019 in Case T-679/16 Athletic Club v Commission

Benjamin Cheynel

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 3, Page 404 - 412



Revisiting Some Fundamentals of Fiscal Selectivity: The ANGED Case  ∙ Case C-233/16 ANGED ∙ Annotation  by Juan Jorge Piernas López journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court of the European Union (First Chamber) of 26 April 2018 in Case C-233/16 Asociación Nacional de Grandes Empresas de Distribución (ANGED) v Generalitat de Catalunya

Juan Jorge Piernas López

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 2, Page 274 - 281

Keywords: Regional tax on large retail establishments; Freedom of establishment; Protection of the environment and town and country planning; State aid; Selective measure; Letter from the Commission stating that no further action will be taken on a complaint; Existing aid.


DEI v European Commision  ∙ C-590/14 P ∙ Annotation by Mihalis Kekelekis journal article

Annotation on the Appeal Judgement of the CJEU (Tenth Chamber) in Case C-590/14 P DEIof 21 October 2016 (the Follow-Up of Case T-542/11 Alouminion v European Commission)

Mihalis Kekelekis

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 2, Page 291 - 294

The notion of existing aid has a huge importance in State aid control. Procedural rules for existing aid differ from those regarding new aid. The consequence of granting new or existing aid is also different: from recovery to a proposal to adopt appropriate measures and modify the scheme. As other notions in the State aid field, despite its importance, the notion of existing aid is still evolving by the case-law of the EU courts. This should be an objective concept but as this judgment reveals, it may also be influenced by a subjective analysis regarding State aid compatibility. This judgment also clarifies the role of national courts in the State aid field. National courts must not only serve as guarantors of the direct effect of Article 108(3) TFEU but also as potential aid granting authorities. Keywords: Existing Aid; New Aid; Recovery; Duration; Alteration of an Existing Aid; National Courts; Notification.

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