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Judgement

INAIL

The court ruled on a request for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of Articles 3 and 6 of Commission Regulation 1407/2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty to de minimis aid. The request concerned "the de minimis ceiling" laid down by Article 3(2) of the Regulation.

 
První novinová společnost v Commission

The court ruled on one appeal brought by První novinová společnost a.s. (as successor in law to Mediaservis s. r. o) seeking annulment of Commission Decision C(2018) 753 final of 19 February 2018, State aid SA.45281 (2017/N) and State aid SA. 44859 (2016/FC), declaring that the compensations granted by the Czech Republic to Česká pošta for the performance of its postal activities under a universal service obligation for the period 2013 to 2017 constitute State aid compatible with the internal market, pursuant to Article 106(2) TFEU.<br /> The court dismissed the appeal.

 
IFP Énergies nouvelles v Commission

The Commission takes note of the judgment by the General Court, which partially annulled a 2011 Commission State aid decision concerning aid granted by France to Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP) Energies nouvelles in the form of an unlimited State guarantee. <br /><br />In application of the guidance provided by the European Court of Justice in its judgement of September 2018, the Court confirmed the Commission's decision in so far as it applied the so-called La Poste presumption (i.e. the presumption by which the Commission can infer from the existence of unlimited State guarantees the existence of an economic advantage) to IFP's relationships with financial institutions. On the other hand, the Court found that the Commission failed to prove the applicability of the same presumption to the required legal standard in the context of IFP's relationships with its customers and suppliers. <br /><br />The Commission will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps.

 
NMI Technologietransfer

The court today ruled about a request for a preliminary ruling from the Verwaltungsgericht Berlin (Administrative Court, Berlin, Germany). The court ruled that Article 3(4) of Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 must be interpreted as meaning that it does not preclude national legislation which excludes an enterprise from being regarded as a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), where the body of the enterprise which holds the main part of its capital, although it is not authorised to ensure its day-to-day management, is composed for the most part of members representing public bodies, within the meaning of that article, so that the latter jointly exercise, by that sole fact, indirect control, within the meaning of that article, over the former enterprise.

 
Spain v Commission and Lico Leasing and Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión v Commission

<a href="http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?num=T-515/13&language=en">Spain v Commission </a> <br> <br> <a href="http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?language=en&td=ALL&num=T-719/13 RENV">Lico Leasing and Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión v Commission </a> <br /><br /> The Commission takes note of the judgment by the General Court which upheld the Commission 2013 State aid decision concerning the Spanish tax regime applicable to certain finance lease agreements, also known as the Spanish Tax lease System. <br /><br /> In its 2013 decision, the Commission found that the Spanish tax lease system provided selective tax advantages to certain beneficiaries, and was partially incompatible with EU state aid rules. Under the scheme, a maritime transport company could purchase a ship via a complex contractual and financial structure involving an economic interest grouping (EIGs - i.e. an investment vehicle held by investors wishing to reduce their basic taxable amounts), rather than directly from a shipyard. This complex structure enabled the EIGs to benefit from a favorable tax treatment, finance the acquisition of sea-going vessels and sell them on at a reduced price to the shipping company. The Commission ordered Spain to recover the undue tax advantage from the so-called EIGs.

 
Austria v Commission

The Commission takes note of the judgment by the European Court of Justice (CJEU), which confirms the General Court judgment and the Commission decision finding the aid to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station compatible with the internal market.<br /><br /> The CJEU found that the Commission also rightfully decided that the UK aid in support of Hinkley Point C was proportionate and did not distort trading conditions beyond the common interest.<br /><br /> In its judgment the CJEU confirmed that the Commission, when assessing the compatibility of state aid measures, needs to consider their compatibility with EU environmental law. It also confirmed the freedom of Member States to define their energy mix.

 
Compagnie des pêches de Saint-Malo

The Commission takes note of the judgment by the Court of Justice (CJEU) with respect to the Commission Decision of 2004 on recovery of social contributions from the Compagnie des pêches de Saint-Malo. The CJEU declared questions of the French Conseil d’Etat admissible and declared the Commission decision partially invalid. <br /><br /> The Commission also takes note of the CJEU’s judgment concluding that an exemption from the employees’ part of social contributions does not constitute State aid in favour of their employers, the fisheries undertakings and that the Commission Decision is therefore partially invalid. <br /><br /> The Commission will carefully study the judgment.

 
Kerkosand v Commission

The Commission takes note of today’s judgment by the General Court annulling the Commission decision of 20 July 2017 regarding the regional investment aid granted under the General Block Exemption Regulation to the Slovak company NAJPI a.s. active in the sand processing industry in the assisted region of Western Slovakia.<br /><br /> The Commission will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps.

 
Vereniging tot Behoud van Natuurmonumenten in Nederland and Others v Vereniging Gelijkberechtiging Grondbezitters and Others

The Commission takes note of the judgment by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) upholding the General Court’s (GC) judgment annulling the Commission’s decision of 2 September 2015 in relation to subsidies for nature conservation foundations in the Netherlands for the period 1993-2012.<br/> The judgment rejects the appeal brought by the Dutch nature conservation organisations and upholds the GC’s finding that the Commission should have opened the formal investigation procedure.<br/> The Commission will carefully study the judgment and re-assess the case in this light.

 
Nexans France and Nexans v Commission

The Commission takes note of today’s judgment of the Court of Justice dismissing the appeal of Nexans against the judgment of the General Court and entirely confirming the Commission Decision of 12 July 2018 imposing a fine for Nexan’s participation in the Power Cables cartel. The Commission will carefully examine the judgment.

 
Ireland v Commission and Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission

The Commission takes note of the General Court's judgment annulling the Commission’s decision of 30 August 2016 finding that Ireland granted State aid to Apple through selective tax breaks. We will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps.<br> The Commission stands fully behind the objective that all companies should pay their fair share of tax.<br> State aid enforcement needs to go hand in hand with a change in corporate philosophies and the right legislation to address loopholes and ensure transparency.<br> In this context, over the past few years, the EU has made significant progress in boosting tax transparency, increasing cooperation between Member States and in closing the loopholes that can lead to large-scale tax avoidance in the Single Market.<br><br> <a href="http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?language=en&td=ALL&num=T-778/16">T-778/16 - Ireland v Commission </a><br><br><a href="http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.jsf?language=en&td=ALL&num=T-892/16">T-892/16 - Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v Commission </a>