Tuesday, 17 September 2019, Rue de Loxum 25, Brussels

GCR’s annual state aid event will bring together high-level practitioners, in-house counsel, experts and academics from across Europe and beyond to discuss the latest developments and trends in state aid and tax rulings with a particular focus on recent and expected decisions in some of the high-profile cases. This conference provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to connect with and learn from like-minded individuals during the conference sessions and the networking breaks. Amongst other topics, the panellists are expected to look at the latest procedural developments in state aid enforcement and question how these will affect future enforcement and recovery proceedings. Our sessions are all discussion led and offer the audience an exclusive opportunity to jump in and ask questions to some of the leading figures and weigh in on the current hot topics surrounding state aid.

E-mail Tel: +44 20 3780 4183


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 and structures and tax-related issues, including high-profile state aid cases.

Wiebe is a member the IBA Tax Committee, the Dutch Bar Association, the Dutch Tax Lawyer’s Association and the Dutch Association for Tax Science. In addition, he is a member of the tax expert group of the Dutch association of asset managers (DUFAS).

Nicole Robins

Oxera, Brussels

Nicole 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. 


Andreas von Bonin

Freshfields, Brussels

Leo Flynn

DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels

Massimo Merola

Bonelli Erede, 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

Andreas von Bonin, Freshfields
Leo Flynn, DG Competition, European Commission, 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, DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels
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

Private Practitioner
Type Price Expires
Super Early €400  2 August 2019
Early €500 30 August 2019
Standard €600 17 September 2019


Type Price
Standard €0