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State Aid

 
 

We assist with:

  • Notification of state aid to the European Commission
  • Pre-notification assessment of aid schemes
  • Private enforcement in national courts
  • Proceedings with the European Commission

CEG economists are experienced in applying economic and financial analysis to help public and private sector clients in State aid cases. State aid is a dynamic field with increased pressure on tax rulings and the launch of the COVID-19 Temporary Framework. We provide economic advice and expert opinions to the granters and receivers of the alleged aid, as well as their competitors.

Using applied economic theory and empirical techniques, we assess whether the arrangement constitutes state aid, identify the applicable regulation to the arrangement under review, conduct the market economy operator test, conduct SGEI and GBER assessments, assess the arrangement’s incentive effects and possible distortion of competition, and quantify the (potentially) illegal aid to be recovered.

 

Representative Engagements

A CEG team drafted a benchmarking report for the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland for bank guarantees on long-term loans to Irish SMEs and Small Midcaps. The expert report comprised a close review of the current market lending rates in Ireland for SMEs, a detailed breakdown of the source of the spread charged to SMEs and a calibration of a long-term SME lending rate. The scheme was notified and found to be offered at market terms, and therefore did not constitute state aid. [2018]

A CEG team assisted Flemish public investment funds LR and MPV regarding their investments in solar panel producer Ducatt. The European Commission had received a complaint from competitors of Ducatt that it received illegal state aid. CEG produced a report that showed that the public investment funds’ actions were consistent with the Market Economy Investor principle. The report included a close review of business models and the loan terms of shareholder loans issued by the funds.

CEG expert Maarten Janssen conducted a valuation of an optic fibre project in Amsterdam for the City Council of Amsterdam. The valuation ensured that any call and put options the City Council of Amsterdam would be consistent with the Market Economy Investor Principle, and did therefore not constitute state aid.

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