On November 23, 2023, the Court of Justice (“ECJ”) delivered two important judgments in the Ryanair v. Commission cases concerning Ryanair’s challenge of two State aid schemes granted by France and Sweden to airlines holding “national operating licenses”[1] during the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]  

On October 12, 2023, the notification obligations under the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) took effect.  Businesses must notify all M&A deals (if signed on or after July 12 and not yet implemented by October 12) and public procurement tenders (for offers submitted on or after October 12) meeting the relevant thresholds. 

On May 10, 2023, the General Court annulled two Commission decisions authorizing a total of EUR 7 billion recapitalization aid granted during the COVID-19 pandemic to air carriers Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airlines (“SAS”), following a challenge brought by rival airlines Ryanair and (for the Lufthansa decision) Condor:[1] i.e., (i) EUR 6 billion from Germany to Lufthansa[2] and (ii) EUR 1 billion from Denmark and Sweden to SAS.[3]  The judgments mark the first time the General Court has annulled Commission decisions clearing recapitalization measures adopted under Section 3.11 of the COVID-19 Temporary Framework (“TF”), and the largest amount of previously cleared aid covered by an annulment judgment.[4]

On 30 June 2022, the EU institutions reached political agreement on a new regulation which will allow the European Commission to control non-EU government subsidies given to businesses active in the EU (the “Regulation”).

Businesses applying for aid in disadvantaged regions of the EU will face new rules after December 31, 2021.

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