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Public Aid to Airports as a Compensation for the Provision of Services of General Economic Interest journal article

Michele Giannino, Federich Romby

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 3, Page 338 - 352

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of the European Commission’s approach in assessing whether compensation awarded to airports for the provision of Services of General Economic Interest (SGEIs) complies with the EU State aid rules. The article analyses the defensive strategies open for national authorities to claim that airports public service compensation packages are compatible with the internal market. In that regard, the article considers the Altmark doctrine and the compatibility conditions for the application of the SGEI exception in Article 106 TFEU. Then it critically compares the strong and weak points of each of these strategies and also dwells on which factors national authorities have to adduce to prove the compatibility of airport aid. Bearing in mind the difficulties for national authorities to satisfy all the conditions for the application of the Altmark doctrine, the article suggests that the SGEI exception should be the optimal strategy to obtain regulatory clearance of public service compensation to airport.


Does a Tender Exclude an Article 107(1) Advantage? journal article

An Investigation into the Different Approaches by the Court Of Justice and the European Commission

Cees Dekker

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 3, Page 387 - 398

This article examines for which type of transactions the use of a competing, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional tender procedure excludes the provision of an advantage and for which type of transactions this is not the case. In answering that question, it will be discussed whether the found distinction can be logically explained and criteria will be developed in accordance with which transactions can be distinguished for which a tender procedure will exclude State aid and for which it will not. Finally, suggestions will be given on how the framework of assessment could be made more consistent. Keywords: Advantage; Public Procurement; SGEI.


France/SNCM v European Commision  ∙ Cases T-366/13 and T-454/13 ∙ Annotation by Adrien Giraud journal article

Adrien Giraud

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 482 - 486

On 1 March 2017, the General Court confirmed a decision by which the European Commission ordered France to recover €220 million from SNCM. In practice, the judgment has little consequences because of SNCM’s bankruptcy. From a legal standpoint however, the judgment is significant because it refuses to endorse the Commission’s thesis according to which Member States must in all cases evidence a market failure in order to correctly define a SGEI. In other words, the Commission attempted to increase the scope of the control it performs on the definition of SGEIs and the GC – as it has sometimes in the past – refused to condone this approach. Keywords: Altmark; SGEI; Market Failure; Public Service.


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.