Short Reads

European Commission approves German measure to support electric charging infrastructure for green vehicles

European Commission approves German measure to support electric charging infrastructure for green vehicles

European Commission approves German measure to support electric charging infrastructure for green vehicles

01.03.2017 NL law

On 13 February 2017, the European Commission decided that the German measure to support the installation and upgrade of electric charging infrastructure for users of electric vehicles across the country is compatible with the EU State aid rules.

The measure aims to enhance the market for electric vehicles by funding user-friendly charging infrastructure. According to Germany, State aid is appropriate since it is not feasible for market operators to invest in such infrastructure on purely commercial grounds given the limited number of electric vehicles (merely 50,000 in 2016). Moreover, the Directive on the employment of alternative fuels infrastructure (the "Directive") prescribes that all Member States need to deploy an adequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles by 2020. Therefore, the measure can be seen as an implementation of this Directive.

Germany's objective is to ensure the establishment of an area-wide charging network that meets the demands of the market and makes it possible to recharge fast and easily anywhere in Germany. For that purpose, Germany intends to launch a programme  in 2017 to provide grants for the installation of new charging stations for electric vehicles and the extension of the existing infrastructure. This programme covers not only urban and suburban areas but also rural areas. The total budget of the measure is EUR 300 million. Most of the grants will be assessed on the basis of either the lowest costs/funding or the best value for money. Aid will only be granted if the electricity required for the charging process comes from renewable energy sources or renewable electricity self-generated on site.

The Commission has not investigated whether the measure constitutes State aid, which it would normally do in such cases. Instead it has stated that even if the measure constitutes State aid it is still compatible with the internal market. The Commission has performed a balancing test to assess the compatibility, weighing the positive effects in terms of a contribution to the achievement of well-defined objectives of common interest and negative effects on trade and competition in the common market. The measure is aligned with the Directive and contributes to common interests of reducing emissions and improving air quality. In its assessment, the Commission understands that the market for electric charging infrastructure needs public intervention before it can function on its own. The Commission also accepts that a direct grant is the most appropriate measure and that the measure provides safeguards to ensure that any aid is limited to the minimum necessary to achieve the objective and that it will be operated in a fair, open and transparent way. Therefore, the Commission has concluded that the measure is compatible with the internal market.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of March 2017. Other articles in this newsletter:

1. European Commission opens three investigations in the e-commerce sector
2. Implementation of Antitrust Damages Directive: Dutch legislation effective as of 10 February 2017
3. Belgian Competition Authority publishes Guidelines on how to identify and avoid bid-rigging

Team

Related news

03.10.2019 NL law
It's in the details: HSBC fine quashed for insufficient reasoning

Short Reads - The General Court annulled the EUR 33.6 million fine imposed on banking group HSBC for its participation in the euro interest rates derivatives cartel. Full annulment was granted based on the Commission's failure to provide sufficiently detailed reasoning for the first step of the fine calculation, establishing the value of sales. As the value of sales could not be established in a straightforward way, the Commission used a proxy. When doing so, the Commission needs to properly explain its reasoning to allow the companies fined to understand how it arrived at the proxy. 

Read more

03.10.2019 NL law
The postman will no longer ring twice: Minister unblocks postal merger

Short Reads - The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) recently blocked postal operator PostNL's acquisition of its only national competitor, Sandd, because this would create "a monopolist on the postal delivery market". However, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has overruled the ACM's decision on grounds of public interest. Invoking industrial policy or public interest reasons for merger clearance seems to be catching on.

Read more

03.10.2019 NL law
The ACM has to pay: moral damages awarded to real estate traders

Short Reads - The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) needs to cough up a total of EUR 120,000 in moral damages to three real estate traders. The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeal Tribunal (CBb) agreed with the real estate traders that the annulment of the ACM's cartel decisions against them was insufficient compensation for the harm they suffered as a result of the length of the procedure and the press coverage of their cases.

Read more

02.10.2019 NL law
Politie aansprakelijk voor schietpartij Alphen aan den Rijn

Short Reads - De politie is aansprakelijk voor de schietpartij in een winkelcentrum Alphen aan den Rijn in 2011. Dat oordeelt de Hoge Raad in zijn arrest van 20 september 2019 (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1409). Bij deze schietpartij vonden zes mensen de dood en raakten zestien mensen gewond. De dader doodde ook zichzelf. Nabestaanden van dodelijke slachtoffers, slachtoffers die gewond raakten en winkeliers spreken de politie aan tot schadevergoeding. Zij voeren aan dat de politie de vergunning voor de wapens die de man gebruikte, niet had mogen verlenen.

Read more

03.10.2019 NL law
Margrethe Vestager to play matchmaker between enforcement and regulation

Short Reads - Current Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager may face even greater challenges in the next European Commission. President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has not only nominated Vestager for a second term as Commissioner for Competition, but has also asked her to coordinate the European Commission's digital agenda. As a result, Vestager may soon be tackling digital issues through competition enforcement whilst also proposing additional regulation to deal with these (and related) issues pre-emptively.

Read more

02.10.2019 NL law
Dutch national police service liable for unlawful granting of firearms permit

Short Reads - In a recent decision (ECLI:NL:HR:2019:1409), the Supreme Court has decided that the Dutch national police force is liable for damage suffered by victims of a shooting which took place in a shopping centre in 2011; an event that shocked the Netherlands. The Supreme Court held that the police had unlawfully granted a permit for the firearms used in the shooting.

Read more

Our website uses functional cookies for the functioning of the website and analytic cookies that enable us to generate aggregated visitor data. We also use other cookies, such as third party tracking cookies - please indicate whether you agree to the use of these other cookies:

Privacy – en cookieverklaring