After the opening decision for a formal state aid review has been issued, German courts may in principle not deviate from the Commission’s preliminary assessment of the state aid character. In cases where courts have doubts about the preliminary assessment, they must request the Commission’s opinion or reach the ECJ for a preliminary ruling. The recovery of a subsidy only on the basis of a preliminary assessment by the Commission my prove to be disproportionate Background & facts of the case The (former) Flughafen Lübeck GmbH, which was held by the City of Lübeck, operated the commercial airport Lübeck-Blankensee (“Flughafen Lübeck”). During the years 2000-2004, the Flughafen Lübeck GmbH had granted discounts, payments and other benefits to the airline Ryanair using resources of the City
The German Federal Court issues judgement that member state courts are not strictly bound by the opening decision of the European Commission in state proceeedings (Flughafen Lübeck)
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