Thursday 9 April 2009

EU: State aid & national courts

Are the authorities pampering your competitors through unlawful state aid? If so, what can you do about it?

Are you confronted with a question concerning enforcement of state aid rules?


New Notice

The European Commission has issued guidance for competitors and national courts dealing with breaches of state aid rules: Commission notice on the enforcement of State aid law by national courts, published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) OJEU 9.4.2009 C 85/1.

The main purpose of the Notice is to inform national courts and third parties (competitors) about the remedies available in the event of a breach of state aid rules and to provide them with guidance as to the practical application of those rules. In addition, the Commission seeks to develop its cooperation with national courts by introducing more practical tools for supporting national judges in their daily work. The Notice replaces the 1995 Cooperation Notice.

The Notice is divided into three main parts: 1) Introduction, 2) the role of national courts in state aid enforcement, and 3) Commission support for national courts.

The Notice offers detailed guidance on or at least clear references to most of the questions a national court is confronted with in state aid cases.

Ralf Grahn

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