Article title The Conception of “the State Aid” Concept
Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 5/2018
Сторінки [46-59]

The modern science of economic law not infrequently offers divergent and even completely opposing statements of scholars about the quintessence of the state aid to business entities and the correlation of the state aid and the state support. The legislative definition of the state aid does not fully reveal the essence of the state aid built up by many years of the European court practice. At the same time, the legal definition of the concept “the state aid to business entities” has not taken up the established approach to the understanding of its main substantive components which has also been developed within the science of economic law. Specifically, this is manifested through the position evidencing an incorrect delimitation between the concepts of the state aid and the state support of business entities. The purpose of the article is to analyze the essence of the concept of the state aid, its legislative definition and normalization formed by the European court practice, and also the determining components of the state aid, and to prepare, on this basis, the proposals to current legislation. The article focuses on the distinctive features which the state aid should be consistent with. Besides, the author gives the analysis of particular provisions of the EU legislation and the landmark cases in order to identify the qualifying elements of the state aid. As the study results show, a state support action may be regarded as the state aid to business entities if it meets the following criteria: 1) there is the fact of transfer of the state resources; 2) the business entity concerned acquires an economic advantage; 3) the action has a selective nature with regard to specific business entities; 4) the action causes a disruption of competition and, most importantly – it has an impact on trade (article 107 (1) of the Treaty on the EU Functioning). It is noted that almost all of these components are taken into account in the legally defined concept of “the state aid to business entities”, except for an impact on trade. The author makes a well-reasoned remark that the Ukrainian system of law in the domain of the state aid regards the state aid as any support which disrupts or threatens to disrupt the internal economic competition within the country and which, at the same time, may not affect international trade, and this actually resulted in the extension of the definition of the state aid. In this regard, it is proposed to make more specific the definition of “the state aid to business entities” given in the Law of Ukraine “On the State Aid to Business Entities” by restating it and incorporating into it the component of an impact on international trade.


Keywords legislation regarding the state aid; the state support; the state aid; economic competition; business entities; the state resources

List of legal documents 

1. Capital allowances for hospitals: Commission Decision on State aid (N 543/2001). Official Journal. 2002. C 154 (in English). 
2. Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Official Journal. 2012. C 326. Р. 1 (in English). 
3. Draft Commission Notice on the notion of State aid pursuant to Article 107(1) TFEU: Communication from the Commission, Brussels. 2014. 50 p. (in English). 
4. Leisure swimming pool Dorsten: Commission Decision on State aid (N 258/00). Official Journal. 2001. C 172 (in English). 
5. On State aid C 9/2009 (ex NN 49/2008, NN 50/2008 and NN45/2008) implemented by the Kingdom of Belgium, the French Republic and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for Dexia SA: Commission Decision 2010/606/EU of 26 February 2010. Official Journal. 
2010. L 274. Р. 54 (in English). 
6. On State aid N 157/06, United Kingdom South Yorkshire Digital Region Broadband Project, recitals 21 and 29 on a measure partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): Commission Decision of 22 November 2006. Official Journal. 2007. C 80. P. 2 (in English). 
7. On the measures implemented by Italy for RAI SpA: Commission Decision 2004/339/EC of 15.10.2003. Official Journal. 2004. L 119. Recital 69 (in English). 
8. On the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings as well as on financial transparency within certain undertakings: Commission Directive 2006/111/EC of 16 November 2006. Official Journal. 2006. L 318. Р. 17 (in English). 
9. Purchase of utility vehicles: Commission Decision on State aid (N 171/97). Official Journal. 2001. L 212 (in English). 
10. State aid rules to support measures in favour of banks in the context of the financial crisis (“Banking Communication”): Communication from the Commission on the application from 1 August 2013. Official Journal. 2013. C 216. Р. 1 (in English). 
11. Dohovir pro zasnuvannia Yevropeiskoho obiednannia vuhillia ta stali [The Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community] vid 18 kvitnia 1951 r. URL: (accessed: 20.04.2018) (in Ukrainian).
12. Hospodarskyi kodeks Ukrainy [The Economic Code of Ukraine]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 16 sichnia 2003 r. № 436-IV. Vidomosti Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy. 2003. № 18. St. 144 (in Ukrainian). 
13. Pro derzhavnu dopomohu subiektam hospodariuvannia [On the State Aid to Business Entities]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 1 lypnia 2014 r. № 2749. Vidomosti Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy. 2014. № 34. St. 1173 (in Ukrainian). 
14. Uhoda pro Asotsiatsiiu mizh Ukrainoiu, z odniiei storony, ta Yevropeiskym Soiuzom, Yevropeiskym spivtovarystvom z atomnoi enerhii i yikhnimy derzhavamy-chlenamy, z inshoi storony [The Association Agreement between Ukraine, on the One Part, and the European Union, the European Atomic Energy Community and Their Member States, on the Other Part] vid 27 chervnia 2014 r. Ofitsiinyi visnyk Ukrainy. 2014. № 75. St. 2125 (in Ukrainian). 
15. Case 379/98 PreussenElectra Opinion of Mr. Advocate General Jacobs [2001] ECR 2099. Рara. 179, 180 (in English). 
16. Case T-358/94 Air France [1996] ECR II-2109. Рara. 67 (in English). 
17. Case T-67/94 Ladbroke Racing [1998] ECR II-1. Рara. 108 (in English). 
18. Philip Morris v. Commission (Case 730/79): Judgment of the Court. European Court Reports. 1980 (in English). 
19. Rishennia upovnovazhenoho orhanu z pytan derzhavnoi dopomohy [Decision of the Authorized Body on State Aid]. URL: publish/article/140679 (accessed: 20.04.2018) (in Ukrainian). 



Authored books 
20. Haucap J and Schwalbe U, Economic principles of state aid control. Discussion Paper (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics 2011) (in English). 
21. Bacon K, European Union Law of State Aid (2ed edn, Oxford University Press 2013) (in English). 
22. Büsching K and Wiese T and Both C, European State Aid Law: a Compendium for Practical Application (2012) (in German). 
23. Kuhling J, Recht der Energiewirtschaft (2001) (in German). 
24. M Heidenhain, European State Aid Law (Munich 2011) (in English). 
25. Nekrasova T, Nadannia derzhavnoi dopomohy subiektam hospodariuvannia: suchasnyi stan i perspektyvy pravovoho rehuliuvannia [Granting of the State Aid to Business Entities: Current State and the Prospects for Legal Regulation] (Noulidzh 2010) (in Ukrainian). 

Edited books 
26. Znamenskiy G i Androsov S i Golovan’ I i drugie, Pravovye osnovy gosudarstvennoy podderzhki biznesa: monografiya [Legal Foundations of the State Support of Business: Monograph] (Znamenskiy G red, Yugo-Vostok 2011) (in Russian). 

Journal articles 
27. Hancher L, ‘Towards a new definition of a state aid under European Law: is there a new concept of state aid emerging?’ [2003] 3(3) European State Aid Law Quarterly 365 (in English). 
28. Keppenne J-P, ‘Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht’ (2001) Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht 193 (in German). 
29. Koenig C and Kuhling J, ‘EC control of aid granted through State resources’ [2002] I(3) European State Aid Law Quarterly 7 (in English). 
30. Ziatina D, ‘Dosvid krain YeS shchodo finansuvannia infrastruktury morskykh portiv’ [‘Experience of the EU Countries in the Financing of the Seaport Infrastructure’] [2012] 68(45) Aktualni problemy derzhavy i prava 299 (in Ukrainian). 

Thesis abstracts 
31. Yerko H, ‘Pravove rehuliuvannia nadannia derzhavnoi finansovoi pidtrymky v Ukraini’ [‘Legal Regulation of Granting the State Financial Support in Ukraine’] (avtoref dys kand yuryd nauk, Derzh NDI M-va vnutr sprav Ukrainy 2016) (in Ukrainian).