Nicole Robins is a partner with Oxera, based in Brussels where she heads Oxera’s State Aid practice and is the partner in charge of Oxera’s Brussels office. She advises clients on a wide range of economic and financial issues in state aid cases relating to assessments of the market economy operator principle (MEOP), the application of state aid rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI), and the compatibility of aid. Her advice covers a broad range of sectors including energy, financial services, pharmaceuticals, post and telecoms, transport and sports infrastructure. Nicole advises clients on state aid compliance, and she also advises beneficiaries, complainants and member states during investigations by the European Commission and in state aid litigation cases in front of the courts. In particular, she has given expert economic evidence in front of the General Court on state aid matters on a number of occasions. Nicole also teaches the state aid module on the King’s College Economics for Competition Law postgraduate course.
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On 7 June, the European Commission published its draft climate, energy and environmental aid guidelines (CEEAG). More comprehensive than the previous version, these guidelines cover new technologies (such as hydrogen) and state aid for the phasing out of coal. We explore the role of economic (...)
Third country, second thoughts? The EU’s foreign subsidies regulation The European Parliament and the Council are currently debating the European Commission’s proposed regulation on foreign subsidies, which covers subsidies granted by third countries that have the potential to distort (...)
In July 2020, the EU General Court annulled the European Commission’s decision that Ireland had granted illegal state aid of at least €13bn to Apple through two tax rulings. The General Court’s judgment in the Apple case was one of the most keenly awaited judgments in the area of state aid. (...)
On 8 May 2020, the European Commission introduced new state aid rules to tackle the effects of the crisis by extending the Temporary state aid Framework. Under specific conditions, member states can provide aid in the form of subordinated debt, hybrid capital and equity in line with state aid (...)
The General Court has annulled the European Commission’s decision that Valencia Club de Fútbol (Valencia CF) received over €20m in unlawful state aid. Oxera undertook the financial analysis that supported Valencia CF’s appeal to the General Court, and which underpinned the annulment of the (...)
It is a pleasure to introduce this special issue of the e-Competitions Bulletin relating to the State aid investigations of corporate tax arrangements. Since June 2013, when the European Commission started a number of investigations of the tax rulings practices of Member States, the tax arrangements of multinationals with subsidiaries or branches in the EU have faced scrutiny by the Commission.
I. Introduction 1. On 30 August 2016, the European Commission announced its largest-ever negative State aid decision requiring Ireland to recover €13bn of aid (plus interest) from Apple as a result of its tax rulings with Ireland . In the year leading up to this announcement, the Commission (...)
The relationship between State aid control and tax law in the European Union is longstanding and conflictual. The European Commission has used its State aid control powers to address illegal aid provided through tax arrangements and combat discriminatory tax measures. However, this approach (...)
To date, there have been only a few successful damages claims following the granting of incompatible State aid, despite similar damages claims being common in other areas of competition law. A study published in 2019 by the European Commission highlights that the burden of proof for claimants (...)