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State Aid

Published: July 2019


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  • 1.

    Outline your jurisdiction’s state aid policy and track record of compliance and enforcement. What is the general attitude towards subsidies in your system?

  • 2.

    Which national authorities monitor compliance with state aid rules and have primary responsibility for dealing with the European Commission on state aid matters?

  • 3.

    Which bodies are primarily in charge of granting aid and receiving aid applications?

  • 4.

    Describe the general procedural and substantive framework.

  • 5.

    Identify and describe the main national legislation implementing European state aid rules.

  • 6.

    What are the most significant national schemes in place governing the application and the granting of aid, that have been approved by the Commission or that qualify for block exemptions?

  • 7.

    Are there any specific rules in place on the implementation of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER)?

  • 8.

    Do state aid implications concerning public undertakings, public holdings in company capital and public-private partnerships play a significant role in your country?

  • 9.

    Are there any specific national rules on SGEI? Is the concept of SGEI well developed in your jurisdiction?

  • 10.

    Is there a legal right for businesses to obtain state aid or is the granting of aid completely within the authorities’ discretion?

  • 11.

    What are the main criteria the national authorities will consider before making an award?

  • 12.

    What are the main strategic considerations and best practices for successful applications for aid?

  • 13.

    How may unsuccessful applicants challenge national authorities’ refusal to grant aid?

  • 14.

    To what extent is the aid recipient involved in the EU investigation and notification process?

  • 15.

    To which national bodies should competitors address complaints about state aid? Do these bodies have enforcement powers, and do they cooperate with authorities in other member states?

  • 16.

    How can competitors find out about possible illegal or incompatible aid from official sources? What publicity is given to the granting of aid?

  • 17.

    Give details of any legislation that gives competitors access to documents on state aid granted to beneficiaries.

  • 18.

    What other publicly available sources can help competitors obtain information about possible illegal or incompatible aid?

  • 19.

    Apart from complaints to the national authorities and petitions to national and EU courts, how else may complainants counter illegal or incompatible aid?

  • 20.

    Which courts will hear private complaints against the award of state aid? Who has standing to bring an action?

  • 21.

    What are the available grounds for bringing a private enforcement action?

  • 22.

    Who defends an action challenging the legality of state aid? How may defendants defeat a challenge?

  • 23.

    Have the national courts been petitioned to enforce compliance with EU state aid rules or the standstill obligation under article 108(3) TFEU? Does an action by a competitor have suspensory effect? What is the national courts’ track record for enforcement?

  • 24.

    Is there a mechanism under your jurisdiction’s rules of procedure that allows national courts to refer a question on state aid to the Commission and to stay proceedings?

  • 25.

    Which party bears the burden of proof? How easy is it to discharge?

  • 26.

    Should a competitor bring state aid proceedings to a national court when the Commission is already investigating the case? Do the national courts fully comply with the Deutsche Lufthansa case law? What is the added value of such a ‘second track’, namely an additional court procedure next to the complaint at the Commission?

  • 27.

    What is the role of economic evidence in the decision-making process?

  • 28.

    What is the usual time frame for court proceedings at first instance and on appeal?

  • 29.

    What are the conditions and procedures for grant of interim relief against unlawfully granted aid?

  • 30.

    What are the legal consequences if a national court establishes the presence of illegal aid? What happens in case of (illegal) state guarantees?

  • 31.

    What are the conditions for competitors to obtain damages for award of unlawful state aid or a breach of the standstill obligation in article 108(3) TFEU? Can competitors claim damages from the state or the beneficiary? How do national courts calculate damages?

  • 32.

    What is the relevant legislation for the recovery of incompatible aid and who enforces it?

  • 33.

    What is the legal basis for recovery? Are there any grounds for recovery that are purely based on national law?

  • 34.

    Has the Commission ever opened infringement procedures before the CJEU because of non-recovery of aid under article 108(2) TFEU?

  • 35.

    How is recovery implemented?

  • 36.

    Can a public body rely on article 108(3) TFEU?

  • 37.

    On which grounds can a beneficiary defend itself against a recovery order? How may beneficiaries of aid challenge recovery actions by the state?

  • 38.

    Is there a possibility to obtain interim relief against a recovery order? How may aid recipients receive damages for recovery of incompatible aid?

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