Modernisation of EU State aid procedures:
are the rights of third parties more protected?
PhD student Anduena GJEVORI
Despite the import ant role in inc reasing efficien cy of the State ai d control an d in
reveali ng the existenc e of Sta te aid , third parties in EU St ate aid procedu res are consi dered
merely a s a “source of informatio n”. This a rticle provid es a critical an alysis of the reforms
of State aid p rocedures from a third party perspec tive. The reforms a re disa ppointi ng
mainta ining t he bila teral ch aracter of S tate ai d procedures be tween two main part ies the
Commission and t he Member S tates con cerned and le aving third parties with ve ry limited
proced ural ri ghts. In addi tion the hard-law reform o f the S tate aid procedures of 2013
increa ses the procedural duti es of thi rd parti es without proced ural guarante es and extend s
the in vestigatory p owers of the Commission .
Keywords: State aid proced ures, thi rd pa rty, Proced ural Regulatio n, Sta te ai d
JEL Cla ssification: K22, K23, K33
In the beginning the administrative procedure in State aid matters was
based on primary legislation and on the Commission’s practice as well as the case
law of the European Courts. A “Regulation laying down detailed rules for the
application of Article 93 [now Article 108] of the EC Treaty” was adopted by the
Council on 22 March 1999 (the “Procedural Regulation”).
The first objective of
the Procedural Regulation was to codify the procedural rules, developed by the
Court of Justice
through its case law and the practice of the Commission into one
legally binding document. Whereas the second objective was to strengthen control
of State aid by removing those aspects of the existing system that endangered the
Anduena Gjevori - LL.M. (European and International Law, University of Amsterdam), PhD
student and lecturer in European Business Law, Faculty of Economy, University of Elbasan,
Council Regulation 1999/659/EC of 22 March 1999 laying down detailed rules for the application
of Article 93 of the EC Treaty, OJ L 83/1, 27 M arch 1999.
For the conditions developed by the Court of Justice to be satisfied for a measure to qualify as
State aid see Cătălin-Silviu Săraru, State Aids that are Incompatible with the Internal Market in
European Court of Justice Case L aw, in Cătălin-Silviu Săraru (ed.), Studies of Business Law –
Recent Developments and Perspectives, Peter Lang International A cademic Publishers, Frankfurt ,
2013, pp . 39-48.