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Applicability of the EU State Aid and Environmental Rules in the Nuclear Energy Sector · Case C‑594/18 P Republic of Austria v Commission ('Hinkley Point')· Annotation by Alicja Sikora journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) of 22 September 2020 in Case C‑594/18 P Republic of Austria v Commission

Alicja Sikora

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 19 (2020), Issue 4, Page 515 - 520

In its judgment of 22 September 2020 in Case C-594/18 P Austria v Commission (the Hinkley Point judgment), the Court of Justice addressed a number of issues pertaining to the applicability of the EU State aid and environmental rules to the nuclear energy projects under the Euratom Treaty. Although it is not strictly speaking revolutionary for the State aid regime, the Hinkley Point judgment significantly contributes to the wider development of Union law. First, it brings further clarity regarding the links between the Euratom Treaty and the other Treaties on which the Union is founded. Secondly, it addresses a long-standing issue of relationship between the environmental protection and the objective of safeguarding trade and competition within the internal market, even though without bringing a clear-cut definitive answer to all related questions.


State Resources Doctrine Rebooted · Case C‑405/16 P Federal Republic of Germany v European Commission (EEG) · Annotation by Theodoros Iliopoulos journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court of Justice (Third Chamber) of 28 March 2019 in Case C‑405/16 P Federal Republic of Germany v European Commission (EEG).

Theodoros G. Iliopoulos

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 4, Page 555 - 560

The judgment in the Case C-405/16 P has culminated the struggle between Germany and the Commission over the German law for the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources. Germany has argued that the legislation at issue followed the PreussenElektra model and does not constitute State aid, while the Commission and the General Court have adopted the opposite stance. In March 2019, the Court of Justice judgment in appeal held that there was no State aid involved and set aside the General Court judgment. Thus, a restrictive interpretation of the obfuscated ‘State resources’ criterion was reinstated, which takes State aid law theory back to its roots and makes the PreussenElektra doctrine actual again. The judgment can to a large extent shape how State aid law will apply in the next years and determine the possibility of Member States to circumvent the State aid law restrictions when enacting measures for the promotion of renewable energy sources, but also for other policy objectives. Keywords: State resources criterion; Support schemes for renewable energy sources; Feed-in and premium tariffs; EEG 2012.


Support for Services in the Lithuanian Electricity Sector · Case C-706/17 Achema · Annotation by Lina Barauskaitė journal article

Annotation on the preliminary ruling of the Court of Justice (Fourth Chamber) of 15 May 2019 in Case C-706/17 AB Achema, AB Orlen Lietuva and AB Lifosa v Valstybinė kainų ir energetikos kontrolės komisija, Lietuvos Respublikos energetikos ministerija, UAB Baltpool

Lina Barauskaitė

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 3, Page 352 - 358

On 15 May 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU or the Court) rendered a landmark state aid preliminary ruling where it assessed the Lithuanian public interest services (PIS) support measure provided to certain Lithuanian electricity producers. The measure was never notified to the European Commission and was subject to number of court disputes at the national level. The ruling confirms that the PIS support in the electricity sector constitutes State aid. In particular, the Court confirms that PIS funds can be regarded as State resources, since their life cycle (collection, administration and distribution) are strictly regulated and remains under the control of the Lithuanian State. PIS funds are also intended to finance certain services in the electricity sector, constituting a selective advantage. Moreover, due to characteristics of the Lithuanian electricity market, such as existing interconnectors and European Union electricity market liberalisation, PIS scheme is also liable to affect trade between the Member States and distort competition. Finally, the Court also expressed its doubts whether PIS should be defined as service of general economic interest (SGEI). According to the Court, the requirements for SGEI existence are not met. Keywords: Energy; Electricity; State resources; Imputability; Effect on trade; Distortion of competition; SGEI.





The Romanian State Aid Policy for Promoting Electricity Produced in High Efficiency Cogeneration journal article

Virgil Mușatescu, Cristian Podașcă, Ioana Opriș

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 2, Page 243 - 262

Romania has accumulated valuable experience in supporting high efficiency cogeneration, using a scheme also known as the ‘cogeneration bonus’. The bonus is an operating State aid that helps the producers to remain competitive on the electricity market and stimulates both new investment and rehabilitation of old plants. This article focuses on the results of the bonus scheme after the first five years of application: an increasing number of producers benefiting of this aid, higher global (electricity and heat) efficiency of the cogeneration plants, significant primary energy savings and CO2 emissions avoided. The scheme also experienced some problems (to which the authors suggest certain solutions) related to the legal, institutional/administrative, investment, technical, economic/financial and social frameworks. Last but not least, the article presents the introduction of a new State aid scheme to support high efficiency cogeneration, which will be in line with the European guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy up to 2020 and will probably be in place starting 2017. Keywords: Energy Efficiency; Cogeneration Bonus; EEAG; Romania.