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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

Milestone or Tombstone? journal article

Climate Change and State Aid Procedures - Tempus Fugit?

Leigh Hancher

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 21 (2022), Issue 1, Page 72 - 86

In Case T-793/14 Tempus UK, the General Court (GC) had concluded that the EC should have opened the formal procedure provided for in Article 108(2) TFEU into a complex UK measure on a capacity mechanism remuneration (the UK CRM), on the grounds that the assessment of the compatibility of the measure notified with the internal market gave rise to doubts within the meaning of Article 4 of Regulation No 659/1999. The GC considered inter alia that the observations from third parties, the length of the pre-notification procedure (18 months), and the complexity and novelty of the measure indicated that the Commission should have had doubts about the compatibility of the measure with the internal market. The ECJ subsequently overturned this GC. In the following Tempus Poland case, the GC applied the ECJ’s approach. One of the most interesting features of the Tempus cases is the role of the pre-notification period and its impact, if any, on third party or ‘interested party’ rights in the further stages of the procedures. It is this feature of the Tempus cases that will be a primary focus of this article. Keywords: GC; Tempus; Milestones; pre-notification; interested party Milestones Preview: this article is based on a chapter in the upcoming second edition of the book 'Milestones in State Aid Case Law' (Lexxion 2022).

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.

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