LEGSA organizes ILS - workshop on state aid enforcement and national tax law’
On January 22 2015, Maarten Aalbers, Sjoerd Douma and Alke Metselaar presented at the Interaction between Legal Systems – conference “Rooms for reflection”.
They shared some insights on EU state aid law enforcement and national tax designs and underpinned the interaction in this field of EU - law between several branches of law, both at an EU level and at a national level. This multi-layered and interdisciplinary aspect of the application and enforcement of EU state aid law has been the prime reason to start a collaboration within Leiden University: the Leiden Expert Group on State Aid.
Over the last years LEGSA has organised conferences on the application of State aid in national courts and has received a subsidy from the European Commission to train national judges in the Netherlands and in Latvia. Additionally a conference on tax law and state aid has been organised.
Maarten Aalbers LLM introduced the participants to LEGSA and commented on the current developments in EU state aid law enforcement. He stipulated that the investigative powers of the European Commission have been increased. In the ex ante control on state aid Member States’ authorities have to design new coordination mechanisms and the European Commission will be able to intervene in national judicial proceedings.
Prof. Sjoerd Douma discussed the vertical interaction of EU state aid law and national tax designs. He compared the approach of the European Commission on the selectivity criterion in tax investigations to the recent judgments of the General Court. Whereas selectivity can be excluded in national tax schemes by establishing a reference framework of a general nature, the General Court is inclined to stretch the concept of a “general nature” to specific objects.
Alke Metselaar LLM focused on the horizontal interaction between the EU state aid rules in Dutch general administrative law and tax law. She analyzed the role of Dutch courts in assessing state aid claims in both administrative and tax law proceedings. Alke Metselaar discussed the reasons why there are few cases raised before the tax courts and argued that ex officio application might prove to be a solution.
There was ample opportunity for the attending participants to discuss the recent case law of the EU Courts and the Dutch administrative and tax in depth.
Click here for the presentation slides.