Volume 28 (2019) / Issue 1
The pending tax ruling constitute a new saga in the continuous political battle between the Member States and the European Commission about the limits of article 107 TFEU within the complex multi-level tax governance system of the EU. This article claims that the legal determination of these limits – as reflected in the distinction between general measures and fiscal state aids – cannot provide for a rational explanation concerning the balance of power between the Member States and the European Commission. Consequently, it cannot be maintained that the European Commission should merely monitor the limits of EU fiscal state aid control as defined by the Member States. Such an understanding is at odds with the prevailing neo-functionalist reality in which the European Commission is able to develop state aid policies in an independent way. This contribution reaches these conclusions on the basis of a combination of the legal and the political-economic traditions that study EU (fiscal) state aid control. It calls for more multidisciplinary academic discussion about the desirable function and limits of EU fiscal state aid control.
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