Edited by John Raymond LaBrosse, Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal and Dalvinder Singh
Chapter 15: To Divest or Not to Divest: That is the Question...
15. To divest or not to divest: that is the question . . . Ioannis Kokkoris In Europe the provision of subsidies and other forms of aid by the State still forms an accepted part, indeed often a central part, of economic policy, even in those countries most attached to the model of the free market. Yet the very existence of State Aid poses obvious problems for the single market for which the European Union is striving. The EC law of State Aid therefore raises issues of the greatest social, economic and political importance as well as a great variety of difficult and fascinating legal problems. Seldom have the rules of Community law on State Aid been invoked more frequently than at present. Seldom has the definition of a State Aid presented more difficulty.1 15.1. INTRODUCTION Different types of laws affect the conditions or environment of competition within and between member states. ‘Competition law’, therefore, potentially has a very wide scope, encompassing all laws that determine the conditions of competition.2 If a member state adopts a system of competition law, that system can be characterized as a national interest in the sense that the State believes that competition and its regulation serve values and interests deemed important for domestic and international reasons. The notion of competition law as a national interest corresponds with the growth of competition law systems in many liberal, democratic sovereign states. Competition law has become part of the capitalist ethos in many democratic societies, and serves as a national...
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