Baker McKenzie (Paris)

Francis Donnat

Baker McKenzie (Paris)

Francis Donnat is a partner with Baker McKenzie, based in Paris. He began his professional life as member of the "Conseil d’Etat" (French Administrative Supreme Court and legal advisor to the government) from 1998 to 2005. He was also legal adviser to the Ministry of National Education, and served as rapporteur to the Court of Budgetary and Financial Discipline (CDBF). Between 2005 and 2012 he acted as chief of staff and référendaire to the French judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg. He joined Google in 2012 as counsel, head of policy for France. From 2016 to 2021 Francis Donnat acted as general secretary and member of the executive committee of France Télévisions, the French public broadcaster and first French media group. He taught public law for many years at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and public law and European Union law at the University of Strasbourg, where he was an associate professor.

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336 Bulletin

Francis Donnat The French Supreme Administrative Court issues a ruling that in the absence of special text specifying a longer prescription period for the repayment of European aid granted, only the four-year limitation period provided for in Article 3 of Regulation 2988/95 is applicable (Société Maison Ginestet)


A dispute concerning the repayment of European aid intended to support the promotion of wines allowed the Conseil d’Etat (Council of State) to settle two questions concerning, on the one hand, the rules of prescription applicable in the event of litigation relating to the payment of European (...)

Francis Donnat The French State Council concludes that three taxes assigned to an undertaking in the audiovisual and multimedia sector cannot be regarded as an integral part of an aid scheme on the basis that they represent a growing share of revenue which is not considered as having directly influenced the amount of aid granted (National Center for Cinema & Moving Image)


The junction between the financing of cinema and audiovisual media and State aid law is at the origin of a case which, initially supposed to revolve around the notion of "alteration to existing aid", has come, after a contentious detour, to clarify what constitutes a tax measure hypothecated (...)

Francis Donnat The French Administrative Supreme Court rules that orders to recover aid following a decision by the EU Commission should also include repayment of interest (Vent de Colère)


The Conseil d’Etat (Council of State) had, in a decision of 28 May 2014 taken after a preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union, annulled various ministerial orders setting the conditions for the purchase of electricity produced by wind power installations, on the (...)

5098 Review

Francis Donnat, Christophe de Saint-Pern Visibility of services of general interest : The Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority launches a public consultation on measures to ensure appropriate visibility of services of general interest


The Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication [hereinafter "ARCOM"] has opened a public consultation, from March 15 to April 21, 2023, on its draft deliberation on the measures to be implemented by operators of user interfaces to ensure appropriate visibility of (...)

Francis Donnat, Michaël Perche Judicial Review: The French Supreme Administrative Court annuls the deliberation n°2022-25 of the Energy Regulatory Commission concerning the rules relating to the programming, the balancing mechanism and the balance responsible mechanism for lack of consultation of the market players (e-Pango)


In its capacity as operator of the public electricity transmission system, RTE is required to ensure the balance of electricity flows on the network, in accordance with the provisions of Article L.321-10 of the Energy Code. The context of the case Article L.321-15 of the same code also (...)

Francis Donnat, Christophe de Saint-Pern Audiovisual: European Commission proposes new regulation to harmonize media regulations and prevent interference with editorial freedom


On September 16, 2022, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common framework for media services in the internal market (European legislation on media freedom) and amending Directive 2010/13/EU, also known as the (...)

Konstantina Bania, Sean-Paul Brankin, Jean Cattan, Francis Donnat, Damien Geradin, Martin d’Halluin, Pierre Larouche, Theano Karanikioti, Alexandre de Streel, Joëlle Toledano, Pat Treacy, Daniel Zimmer The Digital Market Act


The Digital Market Act (DMA) was born out of a combination of three elements: the desire to regulate certain very large online platforms that have acquired substantial control over access to digital markets; the perceived inadequacies and slowness of competition law in this regard; and the (...)

Francis Donnat, Pauline Abbouche Electricity transfer : The French Administrative Supreme Court confirms that the French Energy Regulatory Commission cannot call into question the volumes of ARENH notified and having given rise to firm purchase commitments as well as the annual nature of electricity transfers under the ARENH (Oui Energy)


Created by law n°2010-1488 of December 7, 2010, the mechanism of regulated access to historical nuclear electricity, known as "ARENH", aims to allow so-called "alternative" suppliers (as opposed to the historical supplier EDF) to obtain electricity fromEDF, "under economic conditions (...)

Francis Donnat, Christophe de Saint-Pern Audiovisual: The French Audiovisual Council and the regulatory authority for electronic communications, posts and press distribution are asked for their opinion by the Autorité de la Concurrence in the context of the examination of the proposed merger between two audiovisual groups (TF1 / M6)


A few days after the announcement of the end of the merger project between TF1 and M6, the two regulators, the Autorité de Régulation de la Communication Audiovisuelle et Numérique [hereinafter "ARCOM"] and the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques, des Postes et de la (...)

Francis Donnat, Michaël Perche Audiovisual: The French Parliament adopts the law n°2022-52 of 24 January 2022 on criminal responsibility and internal security and the French Government adopts the decree n°2022-517 of 8 April 2022 bringing welcome modifications and adjustments to the different sanction procedures


In the wake of Article 33 of Law No. 2022-52 of January 24, 2022 on criminal liability and homeland security, Decree No. 2022-517 of April 8, 2022 amended Decree No. 2019-536 of May 29, 2019, issued for the application of the "Information Technology and Civil Liberties" law of January 6, 1978. (...)

Francis Donnat Ne bis in idem: The Court of Justice of the European Union clarifies its case law on the ne bis in idem principle with regard to the relationship between sectoral regulation and competition law and with regard to the use in two Member States of the same facts (Bpost) (Nordzucker)


Two references for preliminary rulings from the Belgian and Austrian courts have enabled the Court of Justice to clarify its case law on the application of the ne bis in idem principle in two different situations: on the one hand, with regard to the link between sectoral regulations and (...)

Francis Donnat, Christophe de Saint-Pern Audiovisual: The French Audiovisual Council refers a matter to the Paris judicial court in order to order internet service providers to block access to several pornographic sites following an unsuccessful formal notice to take all measures to prevent minors from accessing the incriminated content


Under Articles 1 and 15 of Law No. 86-1067 of September 30, 1986 on freedom of communication, the audiovisual regulator - the Conseil supérieur de l’Audiovisuel [hereinafter "CSA"] - replaced on January 1, 2022 by the Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique (...)

Francis Donnat, Mehdi Achachera Electronic communications: The French government notifies the European Commission of a draft decree from the French Supreme Administrative Court implementing law 2022-300 aimed at strengthening parental control over Internet access methods


Since September 5, 2022, the date of entry into force of law no. 2022-300 of March 2, 2022 aimed at reinforcing parental control over means of access to the Internet (Decree no. 2022-1212 of September 2, 2022 relating to the entry into force of law no. 2022-300 of March 2, 2022 aimed at (...)

Francis Donnat, Michaël Perche Personal data: The French Supreme Administrative Court confirms the sanction imposed by the French National Commission for Information Technology and Civil Liberties on a famous search engine, notably for having placed advertising cookies on users’ computers without prior consent or satisfactory information (Google)


After being fined 50 million euros in 2019 by the CNIL for various breaches of the rules on consent for processing for the purposes of personalization of advertising and the obligations of information and transparency, which was validated by the Council of State (CE, June 19, 2020, Google LLC, (...)


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