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ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ State Aid Assessment: What National Courts Can Do and What They Must Do journal article

Jose Luis Buendía Sierra, Miguel Ángel Bolsa Ferruz

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 408 - 417

The article explores the powers and duties of national courts when they enforce EU State aid law, particularly when, by virtue of the stand-still obligation pursuant to Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, they are faced with the assessment of whether a national measure constitutes illegal State aid. It also analyses a number of mechanisms or tools available in this context for national courts to cooperate with the European Commission and the European Courts, with the primary objective of preventing contradictory decisions or judgments rendered by different authorities at national and EU level. In this vein, the article also critically reviews the 2009 Commission Notice on the enforcement of State aid by national courts, which in the authors’ view sometimes goes beyond what is required by the applicable case law. The scope of measures available for national judges is certainly much wider than the scope of measures imposed on national judges. Keywords: Powers and Duties of National Courts; 2009 Commission Notice; State Aid Enforcement.


DEI v European Commision  ∙ C-590/14 P ∙ Annotation by Mihalis Kekelekis journal article

Annotation on the Appeal Judgement of the CJEU (Tenth Chamber) in Case C-590/14 P DEIof 21 October 2016 (the Follow-Up of Case T-542/11 Alouminion v European Commission)

Mihalis Kekelekis

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 2, Page 291 - 294

The notion of existing aid has a huge importance in State aid control. Procedural rules for existing aid differ from those regarding new aid. The consequence of granting new or existing aid is also different: from recovery to a proposal to adopt appropriate measures and modify the scheme. As other notions in the State aid field, despite its importance, the notion of existing aid is still evolving by the case-law of the EU courts. This should be an objective concept but as this judgment reveals, it may also be influenced by a subjective analysis regarding State aid compatibility. This judgment also clarifies the role of national courts in the State aid field. National courts must not only serve as guarantors of the direct effect of Article 108(3) TFEU but also as potential aid granting authorities. Keywords: Existing Aid; New Aid; Recovery; Duration; Alteration of an Existing Aid; National Courts; Notification.


ARTICLES - STATE AID AND NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS ∙ The Application of the ECJ’s Criteria Developed in the Case Deutsche Lufthansa by National German Courts journal article

The Flughafen Lübeck/Air Berlin Case

Annegret Garbe

European State Aid Law Quarterly, Volume 16 (2017), Issue 3, Page 449 - 454

In this decision, the German Federal High Court reviews the scope of protection for a private competitor in cases of unlawful State aid before national courts. Based on the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, this decision discusses in detail the powers and obligations of a national court in situations where the Commission has opened an investigation procedure, but not yet taken a final decision as to whether or not the measure at stake involves State aid and – if so – is compatible with the internal market. Keywords: Unlawful State Aid; Deutsche Lufthansa; Lübeck; German National Court.


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.