Enforcement and Litigation of EU State Aid Rules

Conference Details

Date: 17 October 2023

Time: 09:00

Duration: 2 days

Location: Luxembourg, 8 rue Nicolas Adames 1114 Luxembourg

Cost: € 850 - € 945

Organiser: ECJL - European Centre for Judges and Lawyers/EIPA Luxembourg

Conference Website

Conference Description

State aid control is crucial for the proper functioning of the internal market. Yet, state aid law remains a highly technical field that poses several challenges for legal practitioners. This course is designed to respond to the needs of all actors involved in state aid enforcement and litigation (civil servants, agents and even judges of the Member States, as well as legal practitioners and in-house counsels).

Indeed, State aid rules concern not only the Member States granting the aid, but also the companies that gain a selective advantage affecting or likely to affect trade between Member States and market competition.

Among the common challenges regarding the enforcement and litigation of State aid rules is determining whether or not an action taken or a programme constitutes aid and, then, assessing whether the given aid can be considered compatible with the internal market. Another challenge stems from the fact that, despite the general prohibition of State aid, the legislation specifies many exemptions for aid that enhances the efficiency of the single market and boosts the European economy.

Additionally, the Commission’s implementation of the State aid policy has progressively resulted in a strengthening of the Commission’s control over the most complex forms of aid and an increased liability of the Member States in granting forms of aid. However, recent developments, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact of the war against Ukraine, brought into light new – or at least renewed – challenges regarding State aid enforcement and litigation, namely the potential relevance of the socioeconomic and political context in appraising the existence or the justification of aid.

In this diffuse and complex context, this course aims to provide guidance on several aspects pertaining to the enforcement and litigation of State aid rules.

What will you learn:

Participants will learn about the basic principles of EU State aid policy and the latest developments on State aid rules without losing sight of the jurisprudential evolutions brought in the recent case law of the CJEU. Specific focus will be given to the enforcement of State aid rules by national courts.

The course will cover the following crucial topics:

  • the notion of State aid;
  • State aid procedures: notified aid, unlawful aid (recovery), misuse of aid and existing aid;
  • the compatibility of State aid;
  • the Block Exemption Regulations;
  • the horizontal and sectoral aid rules.

Accordingly, it will focus on:

  • the concept of State aid;
  • the crucial judgments of the CJEU on State aid;
  • the European Commission’s enforcement priorities;
  • the revision of State aid instruments;
  • the enforcement of State aid rules by national courts.

Course methodology/highlights:

The course sessions will be delivered by experts with a presentation on key topics. These will be followed by Q&A sessions to exchange of ideas, and discussions where participants will have the opportunity to share their professional experiences.

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