The French State Council orders stay in proceedings regarding the recovery of unlawful aid in the CELF case and refer to the ECJ the question of the extent of the national courts’ obligation in such "exceptional circumstances" (CELF II)

Factual background CELF is a cooperative society in public limited company form and operates as an export agent. It aims to process orders from abroad and from the French overseas territories and departments for books, brochures and any communication media and, more generally, to perform operations aimed at increasing the promotion of French culture throughout the world. Between 1980 and 2002, CELF benefited from aid granted by the French State for the promotion of exportation of books. This support measure was designed to compensate for the extra costs incurred by bookstores established abroad when ordering small quantities of books. The Commission took three negative decisions regarding the compatibility of the measure with Article 87(1) EC (18 May 1993, 10 June 1998 and 20 April

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