Legal & Tax

State Aid

Learn more about State Aid in Luxembourg

State aid control aims to ensure that subsidies granted by EU Member States, regardless of form, do not distort competition by favouring some products or enterprises and affecting trade between Member States. It also seeks to avoid so-called subsidy races between Member States and to preserve a level playing field for companies in the internal market.

Before its implementation, any State aid must be notified to the EU Commission for approval, unless it falls within the Block Exemption Regulation or can be characterised as “de minimis” aid.  Wrongfully granted aid can lead to recovery of State aid and to claims before the national courts.

How can we help?

Rich institutional expertise

Over the last 20 years, our team has developed extensive expertise in EU State aid law. In particular, we have capitalised on the expertise gained by some of our lawyers during years of working in the EU Commission’s Legal Service and the Court of Justice of the EU on numerous files in this field. Thus, we are able to provide valuable insight and an in-depth understanding of how these institutions function in legal and political contexts and from a procedural perspective in relation to State aid law.

Compliance, investigations and recovery

We represent a wide range of clients, from public bodies and State authorities to industrial companies and the financial sector. We advise not only potential State aid beneficiaries, but also public authorities and public undertakings, on ensuring compliance with State aid rules when designing, notifying and granting individual State aid or State aid schemes. Furthermore, we assist clients in formal investigations by the EU Commission and in proceedings before the European and national courts, including in managing recovery procedures.

Types of State aid

We provide sophisticated advice and analysis on all public interventions regarding State aid at national, regional or local level, such as:

  • Services of general economic interest (SGEIs)
  • Concessions, public tenders and infrastructure-related investments
  • Support to banks and financial institutions
  • Tax rulings and fiscal aid measures
  • Privatisation of state-owned companies and state-owned asset sales
  • Financial support to airlines
  • Public support schemes in the field of energy (energy production, capacity mechanisms, renewable energies and compensation schemes to offset higher energy costs)
  • Rescue and restructuring measures
  • Aid to SMEs

We can provide companies with an overview of, and concrete legal advice about, State aid schemes available in Luxembourg from which they may be able to benefit.

Competition law, FSR and European law

Our team offers integrated advice at the intersection of State aid, competition and other areas of European law. When needed, our team works closely with experts from Arendt’s other departments (tax, energy, infrastructure and public procurement, in particular). 

We also advise on new EU regulations directly linked with State aid and competition law, such as the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR).

Illegal State aid

Companies suspecting that one of their competitors may have benefited from illegal State aid can also benefit from our expertise. We lodge complaints before the EU Commission and initiate legal proceedings before national and European courts with the aim of recovering illegal State aid or adopting interim measures.


Our team closely follows the case law of the European Courts on a daily basis and regularly publishes comments and reports on recent judicial developments. See for example:

  • S. Thomas, “How to grant aid without granting State aid? A little German guide (Case T-409/21, Germany v Commission)”, Case law analysis on EU Law Live, February 2024
  • P.-E. Partsch (with D. Beeton), “The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (Fiat / Starbucks)”, Concurrences no. 92105, e-Competitions Antitrust Case Laws e-Bulletin, September 2019
  • P.-E. Partsch, “Aides d’État de nature fiscale et sélectivité : d’Adria-Wien à Banco Santander Autogrill”, in L’Europe au présent ! Liber amicorum Melchior Wathelet, Bruylant, 2019, pp. 597-612

Our senior associate Sébastien Thomas is the co-author (with O. Peiffert) of a book on State aid law (in French): Droit matériel des aides d’Etat, Larcier, 2019.