News

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

  • 2021/06/22
  • kutatocsoport5

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)

Amazon won, but Engie lost the court appeal in Luxembourg tax cases

  • 2021/05/27
  • kutatocsoport5

The European General Court has ruled that Amazon’s cost-sharing arrangement in Luxembourg did not breach EU competition law. The General Court says that there was no selective advantage in favour of a Luxembourg subsidiary of the Amazon group; as such, it annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the aid incompatible with the internal market. Accordingly, Amazon will not be expected to pay 250 million euros in back taxes. As regards Engie in Luxembourg, the General Court has confirmed the Commission's decision that a set of tax rulings issued by Luxembourg artificially reduced Engie's tax bill by around 120 million euros. Read more... (Krisztina Széles)

Advocate General: national legislation or judicial practice precluding judges from referring questions to the Court of Justice is incompatible with EU law

  • 2021/05/07
  • kutatocsoport5

According to Advocate General Pikamäe’s Opinion in Case C-564/19 IS, delivered on 15 April 2021, the Hungarian legislation enabling the public prosecutor to bring an action before the Supreme Court (Kúria) to declare a lower criminal court’s order for reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union unlawful, and the decision of the Supreme Court establishing that unlawfulness, are incompatible with the principle of the primacy of EU law, as they undermine the power of the lower court to refer questions to Court of Justice. As such, in the opinion of the Advocate General, the decision of the Kúria and the underlying national legislation must be set aside. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)

CJEU: The Hungarian and the Polish progressive taxes do not infringe EU law on State aid

  • 2021/04/10
  • kutatocsoport5

On 16 March 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian tax on advertisements do not infringe EU law on State aid. Both judgments dismiss the Commission’s appeals against the rulings of the General Court. Read more... (Krisztina Széles)

ECJ: Hungary’s restrictions on the foreign funding of civil organisations do not comply with EU law

  • 2020/09/02
  • kutatocsoport5

In its judgment in Case C-78/18 Commission v Hungary, delivered on 18 June 2020, the European Court of Justice condemned Hungary for its 2017 adoption of the “Transparency Law” which imposed an obligation on civil organisations to register as “organisations in receipt of support from abroad” if the yearly sum of the donations they received from abroad exceeded a certain threshold and to publicly disclose the donations received, including the name, the country and the city of residence of the donors whose donations reached HUF 500,000 (around €1400). The Court found that, by adopting these provisions, Hungary has introduced discriminatory and unjustified restrictions in breach of its obligations under Article 63 TFEU and Articles 7, 8 and 12 of the Charter. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi) 

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

  • 2020/06/19
  • kutatocsoport5

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)

European Court of Justice: Advocate General voices criticism of Polish judicial reform

  • 2019/07/03
  • kutatocsoport5

In a recently published opinion, Advocate General Tanchev of the ECJ expressed concerns regarding the appointment of judges to the newly established Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court. According to the opinion, the Disciplinary Chamber does not satisfy the requirements of judicial independence under EU law due to national legislative authorities playing a key role in the election of the 15 judicial members of the National Council of the Judiciary (NCJ), the body playing a primary role in the appointment of judges to the Disciplinary Chamber. Read more.. (Daniel Szilágyi)

Government to nationalize research network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

  • 2019/06/02
  • kutatocsoport5

In what seems like the final resolution of the dispute between the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the government about the future of the Academy’s research network, the government has announced its plans to unilaterally move all the research units in question under a new public institution with a 13-member governing board comprised of six government and six academy delegates and a chairman appointed by the Prime Minister. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)

Implications of a “no deal” Brexit for students at UK universities

  • 2019/02/21
  • kutatocsoport5

Following the “historic defeat” of PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal at the hands of the UK House of Commons, the possibility of a “no deal” Brexit seems higher than ever before, meaning a scenario in which the United Kingdom would leave the European Union immediately on 29 March 2019 with no agreements in place about what their relationship would be like in the future. Without further preparatory actions or commitments made by the UK government, a “no deal” Brexit would create immediate uncertainty for EU nationals in UK universities, prospective students and staff from across the EU, and for those participating in any of the Horizon 2020, Structural Funds or Erasmus+ programmes. Read more... (Daniel Szilágyi)

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