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Turnover-based Taxes in EU State Aid Control: The ‘Hypothecation Test’ and Its Relationship with Free Movement · Cases C-75/18 Vodafone Magyarország, C-323/18 Tesco-Global Áruházak and C‑482/18 Google Ireland · Annotation by Irene Agnolucci Journal Artikel

Annotation on the Judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Grand Chamber) of 3 March 2020 in Cases C-75/18 Vodafone Magyarország, C-323/18 Tesco-Global Áruházak and C‑482/18 Google Ireland

Irene Agnolucci

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 19 (2020), Ausgabe 2, Seite 193 - 198

The turnover-based taxes imposed by Hungary on Vodafone, Tesco and Google are found not to be State aid by the CJEU. Indeed, the Court states that a taxpayer cannot rely on the argument that the exemption enjoyed by other taxpayers constitutes State aid, in order not to pay a tax. Nevertheless, instead of relying on the criteria enshrined in Article 107 TFEU, in order to constitutes State aid the relevant test to pass is whether a tax is directly hypothecated to an aid measure. Furthermore, the three judgments touch upon the relationship between State aid control and the free movement provisions. Although the issue is not openly addressed by the Court, the two sets of rules are analysed concurrently rather than alternatively. As for the analysis on the free movement, the Court finds that the establishment of a steeply progressive tax does not discriminate per se between home companies and the ones established abroad and thus the Hungarian law complies with EU law.

PAKS II: State aid for Electricity in Hungary  · State aid Case SA.38454 Hungary Paks II nuclear power station · Annotation by Adina Claici and Norbert Maier Journal Artikel

Annotation on European Commission Decision (EU) 2017/2112 of 6 March 2017 on the measure/aid scheme/State aid SA.38454 — 2015/C (ex 2015/N).

Adina Claici, Norbert Maier

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 18 (2019), Ausgabe 1, Seite 76 - 83

This article describes a recent State aid case that advances the boundaries in the analysis of the Market Economy Investor Principle beyond the level of complexity reached in previous cases. In 2017 the European Commission approved the aid to Paks II nuclear power station in Hungary following an in-depth investigation. We highlight the most original pieces of economic analysis and financial modelling that contributed to the decision. Among others, the Commission used multiple benchmarking methodologies to estimate the profitability of the investment and the parameters of the financial model. Furthermore, a complex probabilistic model ensured robustness of the results. Finally, we explain the reasoning provided by the Commission when rebutting some of the assumptions put forward by Hungary. Keywords: State aid; MEIP; Nuclear power; Hungary.

Port Investments and State Aid with Special Regard to the Hungarian Ports Journal Artikel

Gábor Potvorszki

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 16 (2017), Ausgabe 4, Seite 617 - 633

Under the State aid rules, aid granted to port development shall not have been exempted from Article 108(3) of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) if it constitutes State aid falling under Article 107(1) of TFEU due to lack of block exemption before entering into force the amended GBER. Up until now the directly applicable legal base for investment aid to intermodal port projects is Article 93 of TFEU, which under aid meeting the needs of coordination of transport shall be compatible with the Treaties. State aid for port development had to be assessed on a case by case by the European Commission (COM). For the notified State aid measure the compatibility criteria follows the logic such as i. overall goal of the project, objective of common interest, ii. appropriateness of aid, iii. impact of the aid on competition and trade, and iv. justification of the necessity and proportionality of the aid and incentive effect. Following the above mentioned logic this article intends to give a summary and comparative analysis through the examples of and lessons learned from Hungarian cases. Keywords: Port Development; Investment Aid; Compatibility; State Aid.

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