Introduction, methodology

AuthorTh. Jestaedt; J. Derenne; T. Ottervanger
ProfessionJones Day; Lovells; Allen & Overy

Page 509

1. Introduction, methodology

This study looks at the practice of enforcement of negative Commission decisions by Member States1. The focus is on the five Member States with the largest total number of recovery cases as at 1 July 2005: Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium.

We have applied an empirical methodology, looking at the practice of administrative recovery and corresponding court decisions. With respect to administrative practice, we have had conversations with the Commission about recovery cases pending as at 1 July 2005. As regards court decisions, we have relied on all published recovery decisions.

This part of the study starts with a summary in section 2 of EC rules applicable to the recovery of unlawful aid.

For ease of reference, we present at the outset, in section 3, a summary and a description of the obstacles to efficient recovery and proposed remedies, as well as proposed best practices guidelines, all derived from sections 4 to 8 of the study.

Sections 4 to 8 contain a detailed analysis of the recovery methods used in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, structured as follows:

* description of the authorities responsible for recovery at national level

* rules applicable to recovery

- administrative law rules

- civil law rules

- interim relief

- recovery in insolvency proceedings

* actions for recovery (or opposing recovery) before the national courts

* main difficulties encountered in recovery proceedings

* proposed remedies and best practices

The situation in the all other old Member States is described briefly in section 9.


[1] The authors of this study express their gratitude to Eva Mona Götz and Charlotte Wright, lawyers from Lovells, for their invaluable contribution in compiling this study.

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