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Not Quite Final: Journal Artikel

Principle of Res Judicata in National Judicial Proceedings in the Area of State Aid

Łukasz Stępkowski

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 21 (2022), Ausgabe 4, Seite 397 - 411

This article addresses the principle of res judicata in the context of rules on State aid, including the case-law of the Court of Justice and the 2021 Commission Notice on the enforcement of State aid rules by national courts. The limits of the principle at issue required by Article 108(3) TFEU and the powers of national courts to recover unlawful aid (with or without a recovery decision from the Commission) are discussed. The law is stated as it stood on 1 January 2022 (with some later developments). The case-law on res judicata referred to here includes the decisions of the Court in Lucchini, Klausner Holz, and CSTP/Buonotourist, with commentary on the practical effect of the Court’s approach. Keywords: Lucchini; Klausner Holz; res judicata; Article 108(3) TFEU; national courts


The Commission Adopts the New Notice on the Enforcement of State Aid Rules Before National Courts: Journal Artikel

An Overview of the State of Play of Private Enforcement of State Aid Law

Leonardo Armati, Federico Macchi

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 21 (2022), Ausgabe 1, Seite 3 - 19

The European Commission has adopted a new notice on the enforcement of State aid rules by national courts. The New Enforcement Notice replaces the 2009 Enforcement Notice, providing updated practical guidance for national judges facing private claims to remedy the unlawful granting of State aid, ie without a prior Commission approval or an exemption from notification. This article illustrates the main aspects of the New Enforcement Notice, from the general principles to certain topics, such as the interplay between the Commission and national courts’ proceedings, the role of national courts regarding aid covered by the GBER and damages actions, that appear particularly relevant in the light of the innovation they bring compared to the 2009 Notice. The article, in line with the spirit of the Enforcement Notice, stresses the importance of private enforcement before national courts for an effective development and application of EU State aid rules. Keywords: private enforcement; enforcement notice; national courts; standstill obligation; damages actions





Dual Remedy Against State Aid Decisions · Case C-135/16 Georgsmarienhütte · Annotation by Rene Brunner Journal Artikel

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) of 25 July 2018 in Case C-135/16 Georgsmarienhütte GmbH and Others v Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Rene Brunner

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 18 (2019), Ausgabe 3, Seite 413 - 417

On 25 July 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union handed down a ruling on the admissibility of the request for a preliminary ruling on the validity of a Commission Decision where the applicants in the main proceedings did not bring an action for annulment against that Decision before the General Court. The judgment Georgsmarienhütte re-evaluates the interrelationship between the action for annulment and the preliminary reference procedure and is, in essence, a reiteration of the TWD doctrine established already in 1994. Keywords: Action for annulment; Preliminary ruling procedure; Dual remedy; Parallel proceedings; National courts; TWD doctrine.



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 Artikel

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, Jahrgang 18 (2019), Ausgabe 4, Seite 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.


Italian Court Awards Damages to Beneficiaries for Unlawful Implementation of Aid  ∙ Court of Appeal of Cagliari of 13 June 2017 ∙ Annotation  by Francesco Maria Salerno and Federico Macchi Journal Artikel

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Appeal of Cagliari of 13 June 2017

Francesco Maria Salerno, Federico Macchi

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Jahrgang 17 (2018), Ausgabe 2, Seite 311 - 315

The case in comment illustrates the application of State aid rules by a national court. Moreover, the case deserves to be brought to the attention of a wide readership because it concerns a rare case of award for damages to the beneficiary of the aid. By adjudicating in favour of the beneficiary, the Italian court recognized the peculiarities of the case at issue. At the same time, the ruling raises general questions of consistency with EU law, which are likely to become even more salient as the cooperation between Commission and national courts in the enforcement of State aid rules increases. Keywords: National courts; Damages; State liability; Legitimate expectations.


DEI v European Commision  ∙ C-590/14 P ∙ Annotation by Mihalis Kekelekis Journal Artikel

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, Jahrgang 16 (2017), Ausgabe 2, Seite 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.