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State aid control is the cornerstone of the proper functioning of the internal market. State aid cases primarily concern the states that are the addressees of these rules. Secondly, they concern companies that gain a selective advantage that affects or is likely to affect trade between Member States and market competition. The first difficult aspect is determining whether an action taken or programme constitutes aid and then assessing whether said aid is compatible with the common market. 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. 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.
The jurisprudence and legislation on State aid regularly evolves, which constitutes a challenge for practitioners must constantly update their knowledge. Additionally, there is a need to address the challenge of which rules are applicable to specific sectors. The number of State aid litigation cases brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union each year also demonstrates the importance of State aid litigation. The legislators and the European Court of Justice regularly adjust the rules regarding crucial issues for practitioners involved in state aid cases.
EIPA provides practical legal training courses to lawyers and civil servants operating at either EU or national level who are involved in State aid cases. The seminars 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
EU and national civil servants. Lawyers and in-house counsel dealing with State aid cases.
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