The 2019 Commission Notice on Recovery of Unlawful and Incompatible State Aid

Evgjeni Bashari, Anduena Gjevori


The European Union has developed its unique State aid rules, prohibiting aid which distorts competition, as an essential part of the integration of the internal market. The primary EU State aid rules, part of the Treaty of Rome 1957, have remained essentially unchanged. However, the Treatiesare silent about what happens after the European Commission has issued a decision pursuant to which a given aid measure is unlawful and incompatible with the internal market. It is the Court of Justice which has formally acknowledged the competence of the Commission to order the recovery of unlawful and incompatible aids. In 2007, the Commission issued its first Recovery Notice giving a general overview of the recovery policy and the development of the legal framework. Whereas the 2019 Recovery Notice, which provides the actual guidance on recovery of unlawful and incompatible State aid, considers the increased responsibility of the Member States in State aid enforcement in the framework of the 2012 State Aid Modernisation.Moreover, it takes into consideration the experience gained by the Commission regarding recovery proceedings and it also includes some of the case law of the European courts during the last decade.

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