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Inextricably Linked? The Limits of a State Aid Inquiry · Case T-101/18 Republic of Austria v European Commission (Paks II) · Annotation by Tamás Kende and Gábor Puskás journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the General Court of 30 November 2023 in Case T-101/18 Republic of Austria v European Commission (Paks II)

Tamás Kende, Gábor Puskás

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 22 (2023), Issue 2, Page 205 - 211

Article 107(3)(c) TFEU requires a delicate balancing of the positive effects of the aid aiming the development of certain economic activities and the negative effects thereof. The Paks II judgment provides clarifications as to the limits of this balancing process and the European Commission’s obligations to take into account primary and secondary EU laws other than those related to State aid, as well as fundamental goals of the EU Treaties like the protection of environment. The Paks II judgment also confirms that State aid rules are also applicable concerning activities falling under the EURATOM Treaty and clarifies the relationship between State aid and public procurement and an infringement procedure and a State aid procedure. The Paks II judgment also shows that Member States have a hard time with challenging the Commission’s State aid decisions if they rely on an alleged err in law or they attack the Commission’s discretionary powers and the proper application thereof.

Prior Economic Analyses’ Impact on Case Assessment in State Aid Enforcement Outside the EU · Case ECS-10/18 Secretariat of the Energy Community v Bosnia and Herzegovina · Annotation by Davor Vuletić journal article

Annotation on the Decision of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community of 30 November 2021 in Case ECS-10/18 Secretariat of the Energy Community v Bosnia and Herzegovina

Davor Vuletić

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 1, Page 93 - 98

International agreements such as the Treaty Establishing Energy Community (TEEC) in South East Europe serve as agents for enforcement of the EU State aid acquis within broader international law. Aside from the legal aspects of the Case ECS-10/18 involving a guarantee for the construction of a coal power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the analysis shows the equal importance of State aid related economic analysis for aid providers, beneficiaries as well as enforcement institutions under TEEC. Ministerial Council’s Advisory Committee, as the highest decision-making body, sent the message of the importance of prior economic assessments to both sides in the dispute.

One Time, Last Time, or Why the CE Oltenia Lignite Restructuring Aid Approval Makes for an Accident, Not a Precedent · Commission Decision on State Aid SA.59974 Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA · Annotation by Clemens Ziegler journal article

Annotation on the Commission Decision of 26 January 2022 on the State Aid SA.59974 – 2021/C (ex 2020/N, ex 2020/PN) which Romania Partially Implemented for Complexul Energetic Oltenia SA

Clemens Ziegler

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 2, Page 181 - 187

The author considers the European Commission’s approval of the Romanian restructuring aid for Complexul Energetic Oltenia of January 2022 to be an accident. Allowing State aid for bankrupt undertakings’ investments in new fossil gas capacities without the conditions that are imposed on their competitors that would receive aid under the Commission’s Climate, Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines leads to incoherence in the Commission’s State aid practice. It distorts the market situation for decades in a way contradicting the spirit of the Commission’s Green Deal. The Decision also shows the need for improving civil society actors’ participation rights in State aid proceedings and related court proceedings.

The Decommissioning of Lignite- and Coal-Fired Power Plants in the Commission’s State Aid Practice and the European Green Deal journal article

Clemens Ziegler

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 3, Page 237 - 250

The article discusses the European Commission’s recent State aid practice regarding lignite- and coal-fired power plants and their decommissioning in the context of the European Green Deal. It is based on the Commission’s decisions regarding the Dutch Hemweg plant, the German coal- and lignite phase-out and the rescue- and restructuring aid in favour of the Romanian electricity producer Complexul Energetic Oltenia. The author considers that the Commission’s mentioned State aid practice is far from living up to the Commission’s binding commitments under the 8th environmental action programme. To ensure that no-one is left behind, as the Green Deal postulates, the author suggests strengthening the rights of interested parties in State aid proceedings and to give environmental NGOs the status of such an interested party, which would also enable them to bring direct actions before the EU Courts. Keywords: energy; fossil fuels; environmental law; (in)consistency; Green Deal

Legal Interest to Challenge State Aid Measures in the Energy Sector · Case C‐429/20 P Solar Ilias Bompaina · Annotation by Maria-Konstantina Lili-Kokkori journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Seventh Chamber) of 7 April 2022 in Case C‐429/20 P Solar Ilias Bompaina v Commission

Maria-Konstantina Lili-Kokkori

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 4, Page 436 - 440

In Case C-429/20 P the European Court of Justice found against Solar Ilias Bompaina S.A., a company incorporated under Greek Law, which is active in the electricity market of Greece producing electricity using renewable energy sources. Solar Ilias Bompaina filed before the General Court of the EU an Application for Annulment of the European Commission’s Decision (T-143/19) that established the retroactive reduction of contracted Feed-in Tariffs to gain back previous payments. The annotation elaborates on the conditions under which an applicant qualifies as an ‘interested party’ as well as the fact that in case of potential effect on a company’s interests, a risk of a specific effect on such interest must be demonstrated.