Introduction Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union [TFEU] declares State aid granted by Member States to be incompatible with the internal market. This principle of incompatibility is not absolute. Under certain conditions, State aid may be exempted from the prohibition of Article 107(1) TFEU. This immediately raises the question how Member States comply with that prohibition and how it is ensured that the aid they grant truly falls within the scope of the possible exemptions. The answer is rather simple, at least in principle. Article 108(3) TFEU requires Member States to inform the European Commission in advance of their plans to grant State aid and the Commission assesses their compatibility with the internal market by examining whether they conform

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