Mosso: DG Comp will “rethink” state aid rules

Mosso: DG Comp will “rethink” state aid rules

17 September 2019

The European Commission will review and reform state aid rules during the next five-year political mandate, its deputy director-general of state aid has said.

State aid recovery cannot fully restore competition, EU official says

18 September 2019

Restoring effective competition to where it would have been in the absence of wrongful state aid “is never going to happen,” a European Commission official has said.


Wiebe Dijkstra

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Amsterdam

Wiebe Dijkstra specialises in international and Dutch tax law, focusing on corporate transactions, investment funds and tax controversy. Since joining De Brauw, Wiebe has advised numerous multinationals and funds on complex cross-border M&A transactions, investment structures and tax disputes, including high-profile state aid cases.

Wiebe is actively involved in the tax expert group of the Dutch association of asset manager (DUFAS) and frequently lectures on international tax law, including at IBA conferences and at the universities of Amsterdam and Groningen.

Nicole Robins

Oxera, Brussels

Nicole Robins heads Oxera’s State Aid practice and is the partner in charge of Oxera’s Brussels office. She advises clients on a wide range of economic and financial issues in state aid cases relating to assessments of the market economy operator principle (MEOP), the application of state aid rules for services of general economic interest (SGEI), and the compatibility of aid. She has given expert economic evidence in front of the General Court on state aid matters on a number of occasions. Nicole also teaches the state aid module on the King’s College Economics for Competition Law postgraduate course.

Keynote Speaker

Carles Esteva Mosso

Deputy Director-General for State Aid, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

Carles Esteva Mosso is the Deputy Director-General for State Aid at the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission. Until February 2019, he was Deputy Director General for mergers. He has also been in charge of the Directorate for Policy and Strategy. His responsibilities included the development of policy, strategy and legislative instruments in the fields of antitrust, mergers and state aid as well as the coordination of the European Competition Network and the international dimension of competition policy.

Between 1999 and 2004, Carles Esteva was a Member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Competition Policy Mario Monti. In this capacity, he advised the Commissioner on the enforcement of merger control, antitrust and cartel policy. He was also the Cabinet Member in charge of the process of modernisation and reform of antitrust and merger rules. 


Georgeta Dinu

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, Bucharest

Leo Flynn

Legal Service, European Commission, Brussels

Leigh Hancher

Baker Botts, Brussels

Massimo Merola

Bonelli Erede, Brussels

Nina Niejahr

Baker McKenzie, Brussels

Ulrich Soltész

Gleiss Lutz, Brussels

Yelena Trifounovitch

Bredin Prat, Paris

Kai Struckmann

White & Case, Brussels

Jan Vleggeert

University of Leiden, Leiden


8.30: Welcome coffee and registration

9.00: Chairs’ opening remarks

Wiebe Dijkstra, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Amsterdam
Nicole Robins, Oxera, Brussels

9.10: Keynote address

Carles Esteva Mosso, Deputy Director-General for State Aid, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

9.55: State aid and tax rulings

This panel will look at the developing views on fundamental topics regarding state aid and tax rulings, with a particular focus on recent and expected decisions in some of the high-profile cases. Can state aid rules effectively fill gaps between local tax rules that leave the profits of multinational companies untaxed? What is the status of the different/latest version of the OECD guidance? Is there an EU at “arm's length” principle? Is there a margin of appreciation? And can the Commission challenge tax ruling practices collectively, or has that route been closed after the Court of First Instance’s decision in the Belgian excess profits regime case? We’ll aim to address these questions and more during the discussion.

Wiebe Dijkstra, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Amsterdam

Georgeta Dinu, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, Bucharest
Leo Flynn, Legal Service, European Commission, Brussels
Nina Niejahr, Baker McKenzie, Brussels
Yelena Trifounovitch, Bredin Prat, Paris
Jan Vleggeert, University of Leiden, Leiden

11.25: Coffee break

12.00: Procedural developments: where is state aid enforcement going?

This panel will address the procedural developments that will shape state aid enforcement. What policy changes can we expect as we await a new Competition Commissioner? What priorities will be set in relation to the opening of formal proceedings and access to justice? Will the enforcement toolkit change? And what does the future hold for arbitration, private enforcement and recovery proceedings?

Nicole Robins, Oxera, Brussels

Leo Flynn, Legal Service, European Commission, Brussels
Leigh Hancher, Baker Botts
Massimo Merola, Bonelli Erede, Brussels
Ulrich Soltész, Gleiss Lutz, Brussels 
Kai Struckmann, White & Case, Brussels 

13.30: Chairs’ closing remarks

Wiebe Dijkstra, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Amsterdam
Nicole Robins, Oxera, Brussels

13.40: Networking lunch

14.40: Close of conference


Rue de Loxum 25, Brussels, 1000, Belgium

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