State Subsidies

Three new cases: State aid for airlines - were they justified in view of the impact of the pandemic or not?

  • Three new cases: State aid for airlines - were they justified in view of the impact of the pandemic or not?

    In view of the economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unthinkable for the European Commission not to ease restrictions on State aid. As such, the European Commission approved unprecedented forms of State aid to save the epidemic-struck European economy. In this context, the governments of the member states have poured billions of euros into the airline industry, which has been hit particularly hard by virus-related restrictions and lockdowns. According to Ryanair, State aid given to national airlines constitutes unfair competition; as such, the airline has filed 16 lawsuits against the Commission for allowing the provision of State aid to individual airlines. On 19 May, the General Court has delivered three judgments, deciding to uphold Ryanair’s actions for the annulment of Commission State aid decisions in respect of TAP and KLM, but dismissed the action concerning Spain. Read more... (Krisztina Széles)

CJEU: The tax scheme of four Spanish football clubs constitutes State aid

ECJ: the Commission failed to provide proper reasons for suspension injunctions against Hungary

  • ECJ: the Commission failed to provide proper reasons for suspension injunctions against Hungary

    The European Court of Justice recently published its judgment in Case C‑456/18 P Hungary v European Commission, bringing an end to a five-year legal dispute. According to the judgment, the Commission failed to provide proper reasons as to why it regarded as necessary to order that Hungary suspend the application of the progressive tax rates of the health contribution to be paid by tobacco manufacturers and the food chain inspection fee imposed on certain food business operators until the conclusion of the Commission’s investigation. The Court of Justice has also set aside the judgment of the General Court at first instance which held up the suspension injunctions set by the Commission. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)