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State Aid for Rescue and Restructuring in European Community Law

Forssell, Hampus (2007)
Department of Law
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis was to examine the EC Commission's role and policy in the EC control of state aid to companies that risk going out of business. The thesis explores the Commission's role in relation to the Member States as well as to the Community courts. It also examines the Commission's policy towards such aid in order to establish whether the Commission is coherent in its application and assessment of relevant EC Treaty provision, case-law and its own Guidelines on aid for the rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulty. In order to explore the Commission's role, the thesis examines the consequences of its decisions -on the one hand, the implications on the Member States and, on the other hand, how the Community courts... (More)
The purpose of this thesis was to examine the EC Commission's role and policy in the EC control of state aid to companies that risk going out of business. The thesis explores the Commission's role in relation to the Member States as well as to the Community courts. It also examines the Commission's policy towards such aid in order to establish whether the Commission is coherent in its application and assessment of relevant EC Treaty provision, case-law and its own Guidelines on aid for the rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulty. In order to explore the Commission's role, the thesis examines the consequences of its decisions -on the one hand, the implications on the Member States and, on the other hand, how the Community courts exercises their judicial control over these decisions. The coherence of the Commission's assessments is examined through a study of eleven of the Commission's decisions. The Commission, because of the direct effect of the standstill-provision and its wide discretion in social and economic appraisals, holds the most important role in the EC control of state aid for rescue and restructuring. This conclusion is supported by the Community courts sparse judicial review of the Commission's decisions in this area. It appears that, as long as the Commission does not directly contradict their case law and addresses the key-issues, they are most unwilling to interfere in the Commission's decision-making. It would seem like the Community courts case law merely places certain requirements as for the approach of the Commission in its assessment rather then substantial rules. The Commission's decision-making is marked by inconsistencies. It has adopted a set of Guidelines to provide indications of how it will assess state aid for rescue and restructuring. A closer examination of the Commission's decisions reveals that these Guidelines do not necessarily provide any definite rules or indications but rather provide a basic approach to assessment. The Commission not only bends the more vague requirements of its Guidelines to achieve the result which is sought but also disregards straightforward requirements as the ''one time, last time'' principle. The Commission has also showed a notable confidence in its ability to know what is best for the development of an activity. Unfortunately, as in the Air France-decision, it is often the case that the Commission simply states that a restructuring would facilitate the development of a certain activity without providing any detailed reasoning to support its statement. Such bold assessments in combination with shortcomings in its reasoning strengthen, rightly or not, the impression of inconsistencies in its decision-making. In the conclusions, I argue that in certain cases, in particular the British Energy-decision, the Commission has gone very far in its approval of non-time-limited state interventions that permanently replace the mechanisms of the open market economy. (Less)
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author
Forssell, Hampus
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EG-rätt
language
English
id
1557515
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:21
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:21
@misc{1557515,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this thesis was to examine the EC Commission's role and policy in the EC control of state aid to companies that risk going out of business. The thesis explores the Commission's role in relation to the Member States as well as to the Community courts. It also examines the Commission's policy towards such aid in order to establish whether the Commission is coherent in its application and assessment of relevant EC Treaty provision, case-law and its own Guidelines on aid for the rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulty. In order to explore the Commission's role, the thesis examines the consequences of its decisions -on the one hand, the implications on the Member States and, on the other hand, how the Community courts exercises their judicial control over these decisions. The coherence of the Commission's assessments is examined through a study of eleven of the Commission's decisions. The Commission, because of the direct effect of the standstill-provision and its wide discretion in social and economic appraisals, holds the most important role in the EC control of state aid for rescue and restructuring. This conclusion is supported by the Community courts sparse judicial review of the Commission's decisions in this area. It appears that, as long as the Commission does not directly contradict their case law and addresses the key-issues, they are most unwilling to interfere in the Commission's decision-making. It would seem like the Community courts case law merely places certain requirements as for the approach of the Commission in its assessment rather then substantial rules. The Commission's decision-making is marked by inconsistencies. It has adopted a set of Guidelines to provide indications of how it will assess state aid for rescue and restructuring. A closer examination of the Commission's decisions reveals that these Guidelines do not necessarily provide any definite rules or indications but rather provide a basic approach to assessment. The Commission not only bends the more vague requirements of its Guidelines to achieve the result which is sought but also disregards straightforward requirements as the ''one time, last time'' principle. The Commission has also showed a notable confidence in its ability to know what is best for the development of an activity. Unfortunately, as in the Air France-decision, it is often the case that the Commission simply states that a restructuring would facilitate the development of a certain activity without providing any detailed reasoning to support its statement. Such bold assessments in combination with shortcomings in its reasoning strengthen, rightly or not, the impression of inconsistencies in its decision-making. In the conclusions, I argue that in certain cases, in particular the British Energy-decision, the Commission has gone very far in its approval of non-time-limited state interventions that permanently replace the mechanisms of the open market economy.},
  author       = {Forssell, Hampus},
  keyword      = {EG-rätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {State Aid for Rescue and Restructuring in European Community Law},
  year         = {2007},
}