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State Aid in the Ports Sector: a Blessing or a Curse? journal article

Recent European Policy Initiatives and Measures from a Dutch Perspective.

Sarah Beeston, Pim Jansen, Kiek Brink

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 3, Page 328 - 337

The European Commission sees the ports sector as a driving force for economic growth and regional development in Europe. It has recently developed various policy initiatives in this sector and taken measures whereby State aid control forms the key element. The Commission has opted for an approach based on two interlinked pillars. First, the Commission intends to create a (more) level playing field among European Union Member States, by using State aid rules to curb tax benefits for (public) companies in the ports sector. Second, further to the State Aid Modernisation Programme, the Commission is, to an increasing extent, pursuing an active European economic policy in the ports sector by means of exemptions from the prohibition of State aid. As a result, certain aid measures targeting market failures and objectives of a common European interest are permissible. In this article we will provide an analysis of recent developments and place them in their legal and policy-related context. We will specifically discuss the impact of these developments on seaports in the Netherlands.


Port Investments and State Aid with Special Regard to the Hungarian Ports journal article

Gábor Potvorszki

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 4, Page 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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