Emerging Trends at the National and EU Level
Edited by Pier L. Parcu, Giorgio Monti and Marco Botta
Chapter 4: Infrastructures and SGEI: the scope of State aid control and its impact on national policies
The provision of Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI) and the construction of infrastructures are at the core of the Member States’ public policy. On the other hand, as clarified by the Court of Justice in its Altmark and Leipzig Halle, the use of public resources in these areas may fall within the scope of State aid law pursuant to Art. 107 TFEU. This has important implications for the design and implementation of these national public policies. This chapter discusses the boundaries of State aid control in these sectors in the light of the CJEU case law following Altmark and Leipzig Halle and the recent decisions of the European Commission. In the recent past, the Commission has also provided extensive guidance by means of Notices on its own interpretation of the rules, in particular in the post-Altmark package of 2011/2012 and in the Notice on the Notion of State Aid of 2016. However, some open issues remain concerning the use of public procurement procedures and how to ensure that the market economy operator principle is met. The chapter thus aims at discussing the open issues in relation to the enforcement of State aid rules in relation to SGEI and how such control systems affect the national policies concerning the construction of infrastructures.
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