The EU court invalidated the EC's decision regarding German state aid for Condor airlines

Luc Williams

July 26, 2021 The European Commission approved aid from the German government for Condor in the amount of EUR 321 million. The money was to enable the airlines to continue operating after the bankruptcy of their owner, the Thomas Cook travel agency.

“Given the doubts that the Commission should have had as to the compatibility of that aid with EU law, it should have initiated the formal investigation procedure,” the General Court said, annulling the Commission's decision.

“Ryanair has sufficiently demonstrated that the Commission should have had doubts justifying the initiation of such proceedings. The Commission should therefore have considered whether the aid in question met the requirement of appropriate burden-sharing,” he added.

This requirement means that any public aid that improves the capital position of the beneficiary should be granted on terms that ensure the state “fair share” in the future increase in the beneficiary's value, the Court recalled. However, in the contested decision there is “no indication” that the Commission verified whether the measure at issue was granted on terms that would ensure that Germany would receive a fair share of Condor's future increase in value.

However, the judgment stipulated that Ryanair may appeal against the EC's decision only in terms of the protection of procedural rights. However, he cannot question the validity of the content of the decision because he has not demonstrated that the German aid could have “significantly impaired his competitive position and that the Commission's decision therefore concerns him individually.”

The General Court of the EU was created in 1989 to relieve the Court of Justice of the EU in certain cases.

From Brussels Artur Ciechanowicz (PAP)


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.