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ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ State Aid Assessment: What National Courts Can Do and What They Must Do journal article

Jose Luis Buendía Sierra, Miguel Ángel Bolsa Ferruz

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 408 - 417

The article explores the powers and duties of national courts when they enforce EU State aid law, particularly when, by virtue of the stand-still obligation pursuant to Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, they are faced with the assessment of whether a national measure constitutes illegal State aid. It also analyses a number of mechanisms or tools available in this context for national courts to cooperate with the European Commission and the European Courts, with the primary objective of preventing contradictory decisions or judgments rendered by different authorities at national and EU level. In this vein, the article also critically reviews the 2009 Commission Notice on the enforcement of State aid by national courts, which in the authors’ view sometimes goes beyond what is required by the applicable case law. The scope of measures available for national judges is certainly much wider than the scope of measures imposed on national judges. Keywords: Powers and Duties of National Courts; 2009 Commission Notice; State Aid Enforcement.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ The Application of the ECJ’s Criteria Developed in the Case Deutsche Lufthansa by National German Courts journal article

The Flughafen Lübeck/Air Berlin Case

Annegret Garbe

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 449 - 454

In this decision, the German Federal High Court reviews the scope of protection for a private competitor in cases of unlawful State aid before national courts. Based on the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, this decision discusses in detail the powers and obligations of a national court in situations where the Commission has opened an investigation procedure, but not yet taken a final decision as to whether or not the measure at stake involves State aid and – if so – is compatible with the internal market. Keywords: Unlawful State Aid; Deutsche Lufthansa; Lübeck; German National Court.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ Hic Sunt Leones: Private Enforcement of State Aid Law in Slovakia journal article

Juraj Gyárfaš

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 455 - 469

From the point of view of EU law, the private enforcement of State aid law, i.e. litigation initiated by private parties before a national court with the aim of preventing the payment of State aid, achieving its recovery or claiming damages, appears to be fairly straightforward. Both the substantive and procedural bases of such claims are relatively clearly set out in the case law of the CJEU and in EC soft law. However, when attempting to translate these EU law guidelines into an actual action under national law, a number of procedural as well as substantive problems arise. There is no unified legal framework and various overlapping areas of national law need to be analysed, in particular public law, general tort law, unfair competition law, State liability law, civil procedure and administrative procedure. This may be one of the reasons why such actions are virtually unknown in Slovakia. The article draws on inspiration mainly from German and Austrian case law and analyses how such claims could be framed under Slovak law. It concludes with the question of whether greater harmonisation could facilitate the development of private enforcement of EU State aid law. Keywords: Private Enforcement; Slovak Republic; Unlawful Aid; Compatible Aid.



ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ Recovering Unlawful and Incompatible Aids by National Courts: CELF and Scott/Kimberly Clark Cases journal article

Denis Jouve

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 367 - 376

In CELF and Scott/Kimberly Clark cases, the Court of Justice clarified the role and the power of national courts to recover unlawful State aids. This fundamental role to protect individuals’ rights varies depending on Commission intervention. When the Commission has issued a final decision, national courts become the guardian of this decision, they have to control the execution in national law. In this situation, their room for manoeuvre is reduced. Pending a final Commission decision, it is for the national court to safeguard the rights of individuals and the effectiveness of Article 108(3) of the Treaty. Therefore, national courts shall take all relevant measures in order to protect individuals’ rights and to stop unlawfulness. It is forced to act even if Commission has decided on State aid compatibility but it has more freedom and it is possible to not order recovery. Keywords: Recovery; Unlawful Aid; Incompatible Aid; National Courts; CELF; Scott/Kimberly Clark.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ Co-Operation and Good Faith: State Aid Rules and National Courts – Procedural and Interpretive Consequences journal article

Adam Scott

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 354 - 366

This article examines implications of EU State aid law for tasks that a national court must undertake, may undertake and also tasks that they must not undertake because such tasks are in the jurisdiction of the Commission. It examines ways in which the Commission should be asked to assist the national courts; the questions that a national court should (or may wish to) put to the Commission and instances in which the Commission may wish to intervene as an amicus curiae. Interaction of substantive and procedural law at EU level with their counterparts at national level is seen to be important in ensuring that EU law is effectively and equivalently applied nationally. Keywords: National Courts; Procedural and Interpretive Guidance; Amicius Curiae; Preliminary Ruling; Black Cabs.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ The Altmark Case Revisited: Local and Regional Subsidies to Public Services journal article

Erika Szyszczak

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 395 - 407

The evolution of the State aid rules has made incursions into the sovereignty of the Member States to identify, fund and operate public services (SGEI). This sensitive issue tends to be managed by the European Commission with few cases brought before the national courts or referred to the CJEU. Nevertheless, national courts may be faced with a growing number of challenges in understanding and applying the European Commission policy and the European Courts’ case law in this area. The article provides an overview of some of the recent policy developments and case law to highlight the legal complexities of applying State aid to public services. Keywords: SGEI; Altmark; Public Services; National Courts.