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A New Boost to National Recovery? · Case C‑349/17 Eesti Pagar · Annotation by Svein Terje Tveit journal article

Annotation on the Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 5 March 2019 in Case C‑349/17 Eesti Pagar AS v Ettevõtluse Arendamise Sihtasutus, Majandus- ja Kommunikatsiooniministeerium.

Svein Terje Tveit

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 18 (2019), Issue 2, Page 186 - 191

On 5 March 2019, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJ) issued an important ruling clarifying the scope of the national authorities’ obligation to recover unlawful State aid and the test for ‘incentive effect’ — a requirement for an aid measure to benefit from the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). The CJ confirms that national authorities must recover unlawful State aid also in cases where the aid is granted (wrongfully) under the GBER as regional investment aid and the Commission has not adopted any Decision. The aid beneficiary may not rely on the principle of protection of legitimate expectations even if the granting authority had recommended the aid beneficiary to apply for aid knowing that work on the project had begun before the aid application was submitted. In cases where the EU rules on limitation period and interests are not directly applicable, national rules apply, so that the national authorities must seek full recovery of the unlawful aid and thereby ensure the effectiveness of State aid rules. Keywords: GBER; Recovery; National enforcement; Unlawful aid; National legal basis.


Monitoring of State Aid journal article

From Ex Ante to Ex Post Control

María Muñoz de Juan

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 17 (2018), Issue 4, Page 483 - 493

Ex post monitoring is a counterpart of the State aid decentralisation process and, as such, is a cornerstone of the current State aid control system. The application of State aid rules is being increasingly decentralised thanks to the significant use of the block exemption Regulations by the Member States. However, this does not mean that the Commission is giving up its powers and obligations under the Treaty. On the contrary, it closely follows — through ex post controls — how State aid measures are implemented by the Member States. This Commission-level monitoring exercise aims to correct the detected irregularities both for the past and for the future and helps to improve State aid rules. It has a measurable deterrent effect. Keywords: State aid; enforcement; monitoring; ex post control; SAM; decentralisation; block exemption regulation.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ Hic Sunt Leones: Private Enforcement of State Aid Law in Slovakia journal article

Juraj Gyárfaš

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 455 - 469

From the point of view of EU law, the private enforcement of State aid law, i.e. litigation initiated by private parties before a national court with the aim of preventing the payment of State aid, achieving its recovery or claiming damages, appears to be fairly straightforward. Both the substantive and procedural bases of such claims are relatively clearly set out in the case law of the CJEU and in EC soft law. However, when attempting to translate these EU law guidelines into an actual action under national law, a number of procedural as well as substantive problems arise. There is no unified legal framework and various overlapping areas of national law need to be analysed, in particular public law, general tort law, unfair competition law, State liability law, civil procedure and administrative procedure. This may be one of the reasons why such actions are virtually unknown in Slovakia. The article draws on inspiration mainly from German and Austrian case law and analyses how such claims could be framed under Slovak law. It concludes with the question of whether greater harmonisation could facilitate the development of private enforcement of EU State aid law. Keywords: Private Enforcement; Slovak Republic; Unlawful Aid; Compatible Aid.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ How to Ensure State Aid Compliance at Local and Regional Level? journal article

Christian Berger

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 476 - 481

It is the Member State which is responsible for all State aid granted by authorities on its territory. At the same time, it might not even be aware of aid which may have been granted by a regional or local authority. Local and regional authorities are like the Member State itself active in many fields, both economic and non-economic and sometimes pursue an interventionist aid granting policy on its local territory. It is therefore paramount that the State establishes structures which make sure those local and regional authorities do not grant illegal aid. Member States have adopted different approaches towards this. Most rely on soft measures such as awareness-raising and training, while other have coupled this with more organised enforcement structures or hard legislation. Both central and more federative or devolved Member States face the same problem; the latter has just moved the enforcement responsibility to a different level of government. But in the end, the Member State’s fundamental responsibility remains. Keywords: State Aid Compliance; Local and Regional Level; Enforcement.