- The Commission’s assessment of when to open a formal investigation into State aid—what amounts to serious difficulties? (Irish Wind Farmers’ Association Clg v European Commission)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
EU Law analysis: This case concerns the circumstances in which the European Commission is entitled, on receipt of a complaint, to conclude that a matter does not amount to State aid, and there is therefore no need to open the formal investigation procedure. The case concerns alleged aid in the form of the operation of the tax system in respect of property (specifically the Irish annual property tax, known as the business rate). In the circumstances, the tax related to two different types of energy, being fossil fuel on the one hand, and wind farms on the other hand. The court rejected the applicants’ arguments that the Commission should have opened the formal investigation procedure. The court restated the principles under which the Commission must do so. Written by Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho, barrister at 39 Essex Chambers.
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