The French Council of State refers to the EU Court of Justice for preliminary ruling on the extent of the recovery obligation of an unlawful aid later declared compatible by the Commission (CELF I)

Factual background CELF is a cooperative society in public limited company form and carries on the activity of export agent. Its aims are to process directly orders for abroad and 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 promotion of exportation of books. This support measure was designed to compensate extra costs incurred by bookstores established abroad when ordering small quantities of books. The Commission took 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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