Alain Alexis

Forward Global (Brussels)

Alain Alexis is a former Advisor for Synergies Space, Defence and Civil Industries in the Directorate General for Defence industries and Space of the European Commission. He has worked previously more than 20 years for the Commission DG Competition, both in the antitrust and State aid departments. Before joining the Commission, he worked for the Competition Department in Paris. He has a Master of European law delivered by the Sorbonne University.

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Forward Global (Brussels)


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Alain Alexis Foreign subsidy controls: The new European Commission proposal


Responding to the requests from the European Parliament and the European Council, the Commission has proposed an ambitious regulation to control foreign subsidies distorting the internal market. The challenge is to find a balance between the positive effects of foreign investments in Europe, (...)

Alain Alexis Standing to bring proceedings: The CFI holds that to be entitled to bring an action for annulment, an association must have played an active role during the procedure before the Commission (Vereniging Werkgroep Commerciële Jachthavens Zuidelijke Randmeren e. a. v. Commission)


CFI, 27 September 2006, Vereniging Werkgroep Commerciële Jachthavens Zuidelijke Randmeren a. o. v. Commission, Case T-117/04 The Court of First Instance had to rule on an action brought against an a priori decision of limited importance, but which raises interesting questions in the context (...)

Alain Alexis System of taxation: The CFI holds that an environmental tax levied on the extraction of virgin aggregates which does not apply to secondary aggregates is justified by the nature and general scheme of the system of taxation (British Aggregates Association v. Commission)


CFI, 13 September 2006, British Aggregates Association v. Commission, Case T-210/02 The notion of the ’logic of the tax system’ which allows a measure to escape classification as State aid is always a tricky concept to apply. The judgment of the Court of First Instance provides useful (...)

Alain Alexis Powers of the Council: The ECJ holds that the Council is not authorised to declare an aid compatible if no application has been made before the Commission declares the aid incompatible (Commission v. Council)


ECJ, 22 June 2006, Commission v. Council, case C-399/03 While the Commission plays a central role in State aid control, the Council retains important powers under the third subparagraph of Article 88(2) EC, which provides that, at the request of a Member State, the Council may decide (...)

Alain Alexis Legitimate expectations: The ECJ holds that the European Commission may alter its appraisal but must take into consideration the legitimate expectations which may result from former decisions (Forum 187)


ECJ, 22 June 2006, Kingdom of Belgium and Forum 187 ASBL v Commission, cases C-182/03 and C-217/03. The active application of the State aid rules in the tax field is relatively new for the Commission and leads the Commission to classify as State aid measures which were previously deemed to (...)

Alain Alexis Notion of advantage: The CFI holds that an aid granted to service stations which had the effect of releasing companies from their obligations to bear the costs of discounts is an advantage (Kuwait Petroleum)


CFI, 31 May 2006, Kuwait Petroleum v. Commission, case. T-354/99 The Dutch petrol station case is one of those cases of limited economic importance, but which nevertheless give rise to unexpected contentious developments. The origin of this case was a Dutch law granting temporary aid to (...)

Alain Alexis State Guaranty: The European Commission decides that the unlimited guarantee linked to the statute of Public firm constitutes incompatible State Aid (Laboratoire National d’Essai)


EC Comm, C(2005) 1970, 1 July 2005, Aid to the Laboratoire National d’Essais, case E 24/2004 and NN 88/2004 - France The Laboratoire National d’Essais is a public establishment of an industrial and commercial nature (EPIC) responsible for carrying out all study, research, consultation, (...)

Alain Alexis Restructuring aid: The CFI holds that the European Commission, when assessing the minimal amount of an aid, must take account of all the financial advantages for the beneficiary, even if their amount remains limited (Corsica Ferries)


CFI, 15 June 2005, Corsica Ferries France SAS v. Commission, Case T-349/03 The Société nationale maritime Corse-Méditerranée (SNCM) provides maritime links in particular between mainland France, Corsica and North Africa. In particular, it operates links between Corsica and Marseilles under (...)

Alain Alexis Implementation: The ECJ holds the prohibition to implement a tax only applies if the revenue from it is hypothecated to the aid measure at issue (Streekgewest Westelijk Noord-Brabant - Pape)


ECJ, 13 January 2005, Streekgewest Westelijk Noord-Brabant, case C-174/02 ECJ, January 13, 2005, F.J. Pape, aff. C-175/02 Differences in taxation between Member States may undoubtedly favour or disadvantage certain companies depending on their State of taxation. Companies with a high tax (...)

Alain Alexis Ressources collected: The European Commission holds that resources collected by security funds set up by social partners and used for the financing of out of legal social missions do not constitute State resources within the meaning of Art. 87 EC (Fonds sectoriels belges)


EC Comm, 20 October 2004, Belgian Sectoral Funds, case NN 136/2003 The Commission’s decision on the Belgian sector funds is the first "non-aid" decision adopted in application of the Pearle judgment of 15 July 2004 (Case C-345/02). In accordance with Belgian legislation, the social (...)

Alain Alexis General interest: The European Commission holds that the carrying out, maintenance and running of maritime routes and port locks do not qualify as economic activity but constitute task of general interest (Flemish Ports)


EC Comm, 20 October 2004, Belgium - Financial support for infrastructure works in Flemish ports, case N 520/2003 The Commission’s decision of 20 October 2004 concerns the financial support that the Flemish Government intends to give for works in the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ostend. (...)

Alain Alexis Nuclear sector: The European Commission holds that European State aid rules apply to nuclear sector but the objectives of the Euratom Treaty must be taken into consideration (British Energy)


EC Comm, dec. 2005/407/EC, 22 September 2004 on the State aid which the United Kingdom is planning to implement for British Energy plc, case C 52/2003 On 27 November 2002, the Commission had authorised the rescue aid granted to British Energy (BE) by the United Kingdom (OJEU No C 39 of 18 (...)

Alain Alexis Notion of State aid - State ressources: The ECJ holds that resources collected by a trade association governed by public law for the only purpose of funding an advertising campaign for the benefit of its members and decided on by them, through resources levied from those members and compulsorily earmarked for the funding of that campaign, do not constitute State aid (Pearle)


ECJ, 15 July 2004, Pearle BV, case C-345/02 The judgment of the Court of Justice of 15 July 2004 in the Pearle BV case provides important clarifications on the criteria of State resources and imputability to the State, two criteria constituting the concept of State aid within the meaning of (...)

Alain Alexis Aid for environmental protection: The European Commission extends the notion of environmental protection to cover measures to prevent risk linked to major accidents (Akzo Nobel)


EC Commission, Dec. 2005/170/EC of 16 June 2004 on aid for the construction of a propylene pipeline between Rotterdam, Antwerp and the Ruhr area, notified by Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands - C 67/03 (ex N 35 EC Commission, C(2004) 2026, 16 June 2004, Aid to Akzo Nobel to minimise (...)

Alain Alexis Notion of State Aid (advantage): The CFI holds that measures aiming at the replacement of the status of officials with the status of employees on a contract basis do not constitute State aid because they only free the company from a structural disadvantage it has in relation to its private-sector competitors (Danske)


CFI, 16 March 2004, Danske Busvognmænd v Commission, Case T-157/01. An undertaking is liable to receive State aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) when the State confers an ’advantage’ on it. The Court of First Instance provided important clarifications on this concept in its Danske (...)

Alain Alexis Compensation of charges of a service of general economic interest: The CFI holds that a company operating in the field of public services is not necessarily entrusted with public service obligations within the meaning of Community legislation (TV2Denmark)


CFI, 16 March 2004, Danske Busvognmænd v. Commission, Case T-157/01 EC Comm. dec. 2005/217/EC, 19 May 2004, on measures implemented by Denmark for TV2/Danmark, case C 2/2003 (ex NN 22/2002) While the Member States have a wide degree of autonomy in choosing and organising their services of (...)



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