The State as a “Mere Vehicle” for Aid? Or How the CJEU Has Opened the Door to Uncontrolled (Pseudo) Fiscal State Aid Measures

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Albert Sanchez Graells, May 28, 2014

In its Judgment of May 30, 2013 in Doux Élevages and Coopérative agricole the Court of Justice of the European Union carried on with its line of case law in Pearle and Others by stressing that, according to Article 107(1) TFEU, State aid cannot exist if the economic advantage under analysis is not funded by “State resources” and there is no “imputability to the State.” As a general point of law, the finding may not seem surprising (for this is in line with the general approach to the notion of aid, also in the 2014 Draft Commission Notice on the notion of State aid. However, in the specific circumstances of the case, I find it very hard to swallow that there was no “imputability” to the French State of the measure contended.