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EU State Aid Control in a Dynamic Global Environment: journal article

Time to Rethink the Interested Party Concept?

Antonis Metaxas

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 1, Page 43 - 53

EU State aid rules, as a normative framework for ensuring and preserving undistorted competition in an equitable Common Market, traditionally constitute fundamental provisions of the EU legal order. Within this framework, the constructive cooperation of the Member State concerned with the European Commission is important when assessing the compatibility of an aid measure with the internal market. Notwithstanding the bilateral character of the control procedure, the participation of interested parties enables the Commission to get a better insight regarding the contested aid measure in order to conclude whether the latter is aligned with the Union’s interests and policies. In a dynamic global environment, these interests and prevailing priorities are constantly redefined (climate change is a prominent example). To the extent that this broader, dynamic scope of EU State aid control is accepted, the question arises if State aid measures adopted by a Member State for supporting a given activity shall be assessed not only on the grounds provided for by the Member State concerned, the recipient of the aid or its direct competitors. In this context, the author claims that aspects of procedural efficiency must be held in balance with the reality of normative interdependence and the necessity of compatibility among EU policies. Procedurally, the question now arises if and to which extent the interested party concept must be broadened so that, for example, organisations of the civil society obtain a ‘locus standi’ in EU State aid control administrative procedures as well as in respective judicial proceedings before EU Courts. Keywords: interested party; State aid control procedure; NGO; Aarhus Convention; Aarhus Regulation



Brexit, the EEA and the EU State aid Rules journal article open-access

The Future of State aid Control in Turmoil?

Maria Segura, Egill Olafsson, Marianne Clayton

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 1, Page 3 - 14

One of the many and still unresolved questions raised by the discussions surrounding Brexit is that of its implications on State aid rules. The consequences for the UK and for both the EU and the European Economic Area are still unknown. The options are diverse and still open to much speculation. In this article, we will focus on the EEA model. Because it is not that well-known, the scope of the EEA agreement and the way it functions will firstly be presented. Indeed, some specificities of the EEA framework, amongst which the principle of homogeneity, deserve explanations as a cornerstone for the application of State aid rules within the EU and the EEA. Finally, the actual different options regarding State aid control post-Brexit within the UK, EU and EEA will be discussed. To conclude, attention will be devoted to the concerns regarding the continuation of the EEA Agreement as it stands and the future homogeneous application of State aid rules. Keywords: State aid control; Brexit; Homogeneity principle.


State Aid Evaluation journal article

State of Play and Ways Forward

Barbara Brandtner, Daniele Vidoni

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 4, Page 475 - 482

The Commission requirement concerning the evaluation of State aid schemes is one of the pillars of the State Aid Modernisation (SAM) reform of 2014. The aim of the evaluations conducted under State aid rules is to provide evidence on both the direct impact of the aid on its beneficiaries and on its indirect impacts, positive and negative, as well as on the proportionality and appropriateness of the aid measure. This article provides an account of the state of play in the evaluation of State aid schemes. To this end, we analyse the legal framework of the evaluation requirements as outlined under the General Block Exemption Regulation and under different State aid guidelines, and synthesise the characteristics of the current 45 evaluation plans, and of the Commission decisions approving them. Finally we discuss the lessons learnt from the first final evaluation reports submitted and reflect on challenges ahead. Keywords: State aid Modernisation; State aid control; Evaluation plan.


The Transformation of State Aid Control in Serbia and EU Conditionality journal article

Challenges of Integration Uncertainty and Reform Prospects

Marko Milenkovic

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 1, Page 66 - 79

Serbia’s EU integration process has only commenced after the political change in 2000. The cornerstone of the relations between the country and the EU is the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which mandates the full alignment of State aid measures with the EU standards. Since 2006, subsequent governments have been working on aligning the substantive rules for the granting of State aid with the (ever-changing) EU framework, with a growing number of State aid measures and schemes being notified to and approved by the Commission for State Aid Control (CSAC). However, this period was also characterised by a severe economic crisis. By examining the legal framework, institutional structure for State aid control and overall experiences of the first phase of the implementation of the Law on State aid, this paper draws conclusions on the major challenges and obstacles encountered introducing the new regulatory regime in the context of a deep economic crisis, on-going enlargement fatigue and conflicting political legacies. Keywords: Serbia; Institutional Transformation; EU Conditionality; Enlargement Fatigue.


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