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State Aids F.F.S.A. v. European Commission (Case T - 106/96)
(Commentaire sur la politique européenne en matière d'aide d'État)

Anthony-Patrice CHAMBOREDON
Institut Universitaire Européen de Florence
Décembre 1997

 


 

Legal grounds of the case regarding State aids

Article 90 of the EC Treaty

...

2 - Undertakings entrusted with operation of services of general economic interest or having the character of a revenue-producing monopoly shall be subject to the rules contained in this Treaty,in particular to the rules on competition, in so far as the application of such rules does not obstruct the performance, in law or in fact, of the particular task assigned to them. The development of trade must not be affected to such an extent as would be contrary to the interests of the Community.

...

Article 92 of the EC Treaty

1 - Save as otherwise provided in this Treaty,any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the common market.

2 - The following shall be compatible with the common market:

(a) aid having a social character, granted to individual consumers, provided that such aid is granted without discrimination related to the origin of the products concerned;

(b) aid to make good the damage caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurences;

(c) aid granted to the economy of certain areas of the Federal Republic of Germany affected by the division of Germany, in so far as such aid is required in order to compensate for the economic disadvantages caused by that division.

3 - The following may be considered to be compatible with the common market:

(a) aid to promote the economic development of areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is a serious underemployment;

(b) aid to promote the execution of an important project of common european interest or to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State;

(c) aid to facilitate the developement of certain economic activities or of certain economic areas, where such aid does not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest. however, the aids granted to shipbuildings as of 1 january 1957 shall, in so far as they serve only to compensate for the absence of customs protection, be progressively reduced under the same conditions as apply to the elimination of customs duties, subject to the provisions of this Treatyconcerning common commercial policy toward third countries;

(d) aid to promote culture and heritage conservation where such aid does not affect trading conditions and competition in the Communityto an extent that is contrary to the common interest.

(c) such other categories of aid as may be specified by decision of Council acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission.

Summary of facts

Facts:

4 May 1990,

A group of insurance companies (FFSA and others) lodge a complaint with the Commission concerning a draft law on the reform of post and telecomunications services (PTT) to the effect that it was liable to create distortions of competition in the insurance sector, contrary to Articles 85, 86 and 92 of the EC Treaty.

2 july 1990,

Two month later, the reform of the 'PTT' is enacted and according to the new law, La Poste is, as from the 1th January 1991, converted into a public-law corporation.

26 december 1994.

Complainants urges the Commission to adopt a definitive position on the action to be taken on their complaints as regards the infringments of articles 85 and 86, and the continuing infringment of article 92 (namely the reductions enjoyed by La Poste in the matter of local taxation).

8 February 1995,

The Commision informs the French government that it had decided not to treat the tax concession as State Aid. This decision is the one contested by the insurance companies that we call FFSA.

The contested decision

Reduction in the basis of assessment of local taxation (Art. 21 of 1990 French Law) represents a definitive financial advantage for La Poste (LP). To fall under Art 90 (2) this advantage must not go beyond whats necessary for LP to perform its public interest tasks = the aid may not benefit the competitive activities of LP as a public operator.

To calculate the advantages enjoyed by LP competitive services the additional cost (FF 2,782 billion) notified by French authorities should be reduced by a percentage equal to the share of competitive services in the postal administrationís turnover. Reasoning: 1) Additional public-service costs are calculated on all postal services since they are related to the obligation to maintain a universal presence throughout France and not to the different types of postal activity. 2) The same post offices and staff provide public-interest services and competitive services, 3) Distinction between public services and competitive services depends on the national legal framework and is not yet the subject in postal sector of uniform provisions at Community level. Therefore the reference value to be used should be = 35% of turnover corresponding to all competitive activities ( FF 2,782 billion x 0,653 = FF 1,82 billion [Using outside consultant´s estimation of FF 2,02 billion gives FF 1,32 billion].

Both the above mentioned amounts are higher than the state aid (tax concessions) to LP (FF 1,96 billion) = the aid is justified by Art 90(2) in order to ensure performance of the public-interest tasks. Thus no transfer of resources from the State to LP´s competitive activities. The measures in question do therefore not constitute State aid within the meaning of Art 92(1) of the Treaty.

Regarding illegal breach of Articles 85 and 86 the Commission resumed the right to adopt appropriate measures in relation to those provisions as a separate matter.

Subject matter of the proceedings

These proceedings are directed at obtaining the annulment of the contested decision only in so far as it finds that the grant to La Poste of the reduction in the basis of assessment to local taxation provided for by article 21 of the 1990 Law does not constitute State aid within the meaning of article 92(1) of the Treaty.

It is not contested by the parties that the tax concession in question enjoyed by La Poste amounted in 1994 to FF 1.196 billion.

In the studies carried out for evaluation of the additionnal costs of the networkimposed by obligations in rural areas La Poste estimated the costs as FF 2.782 billion but outside consultants founded to be between FF 2.02 billion and FF 2.83 billion.

Calculation Methods

regarding the public-service costs of La Poste

No analytical accounts existed, therefore the additional public service costs had to be calculated on the basis of all La Poste's activities.

La Poste's calculation

Outside consultants calculation

- Arguments of the applicants

- Arguments of the Commission

- Arguments of la Poste and the French Government

- FINDINGS OF THE COURT

The applicants put forward four pleas.

We will concentrate on the third and fourth pleas which concern the State Aids.

Third plea:

74 The Method used by the Commission for evaluating the additional public service costs is inappropriate.

Arguments:

The Commission uses an inappropriate method for calculating the additional costs linked to La Poste's Public service obligations resulting an overestimation of costs.

The concept of public service comprises only the forwarding of mail in all its forms and delivery of news papers and periodicals, not banking and insurance services.

84 The Commission claims that it used the appropriate method to calculate the additional public service costs. Those costs involved arise from performance of public interest tasks laid down specifically in the Article 8 of 1990 Law and 21 and 24 of LP terms reference.

75 - To study the additional costs carried out by La Poste itself, instead of comparing the costs of rural office in relation to a national average, the Commission should have used the "opportunity cost" as reference, that is to say the real cost which La Poste must pay in order to maintain its unprofitable post offices, or public task.

85 Evaluation method used ñ both the most rational and most objective one. Using opportunity costs would have been inappropriate whereas LP was not able to regulate the allocation of the public funds (state aids) made available to it.

76 - Further more, on virtue of the French law of 2 March 1982 on the decentralisation, the territorial entities should have examined the expediency of closing certain unprofitable post offices.

Commission points out the aim of Art 92 ñ not to limit the absolute level of public service costs but to prevent resources from being transferred to competitive activities. Whether taking into account or not the expediency of closing certain unprofitable post offices or not was therefore irrelevant to the case. (check ñ my interpretation).

77 And the study undertaken by outside consultants and taken into account by the Commission contains equally an overestimation of costs.

First the margins of certain offices should be taken into account only in relation to a reference margin below which the closing of an office is preferable for La Poste, that reference marging being comparable to the above mentionned opportunity cost. In particular, there should be not related to national ëaverage marginí, as was down in the contested decision. Comparing the margins of certain offices with an average margin is even less justified in tbhe case of un undertaking having a monopoly in public service activities.

Second, the additionnal costs study wrongly takes no account of network externalities, that is to say the effect which rural offices have on the opoerating vosts of the other offices, on the volume of postal traffic, on delivery costs etc. Indeed, the existence of rural offices, even if it is unprofitable, allows the operating costs of other offices to be reduced.

Third, the evaluation of the additional cost ought to have been carried out on a minimum costs. the method used can encourage the undertakings under consideration to inflate their costs in order to receive an increased subsidy and then exploit the advantage acquired, on the insurance market for example.

Fourth, the additional costs were evaluated before La Poste entered the insurance market. As a result, their evaluation is excessive because activity on the insurance market should have the effect of increasing the profitability of post offices and thereby reducing the additional costs linked to the provision of a public service. It follows that any comparison is misconceived.

86 Whether it should have based its calculations on minimum costs rather than actual costs the Commission stated that its role was not to improve the efficency of the public postal service in France.

87 Rejects not having taken into account “network externalities” since it deducted the indirect advantages which LP competitive activities derive from the public service network. Points out that the purpose of the evaluation method used was to prevent any subsidy increase from affording advantages on the commercial markets.

89 Furthermore, the 35% reduction answers the applicants´contention that the additional costs were calculated before La Poste entered the insurance market.

82 Referring to the opinion of the French Competition Council, La Poste's financial activity represents nearly three quarters of all its activities.

Additional costs due to public service, should therefore have been regarded as 75% instead of 35% of all activities = FF 696 million, = FF 500 million less than the amount of the aid in question.

90 Commission points out that the allocation made in the opinion refers to activity of post offices and not to turnover which was used as a reference in the contested decision.


French Government: (intervener)

91 The calculation of the additional costs by La Post is well founded. Points out that app. 58% of loss making post offices are located in communes having less than 2000 inhabitants and in most of these offices the person in charge is on avarage busy for about an hour each day. The additional cost of this non-productivity is related to the general task of maintaining a postal service throughout the country.

92 Further points out that for years LP has been just about breaking even in the annual accounts and that this break-even point is reached only by taking into account the tax concessions (state aid).

FINDINGS OF THE COURT

97 COMMISSION HAS WIDE DISCRETION IN EVALUATING ADDITIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE COSTS, ON THE GROUNDS OF ART 90(3) SINCE IT IS COMPARABLE TO THAT EXERCISED BY THE COMMISSION WHEN APPLYING ART 92(3). THE COURT CAN ONLY CHECK IF CONTESTED DECISION IS VITIATED BY ONE OF THE GROUNDS OF ILLEGALITY, SET OUT IN ART 173, BUT CANNOT SUBSTITUTE ITS OWN ASSESSMENT OF THE FACTS OF THE COMMISSION, ESPECIALLY IN THE ECONOMIC SPHERE.

105 USING THE PROPORTION OF TURNOVER OF LA POSTE WAS THE MOST OBJECTIVE METHOD FOR EVALUATING THE ADDITIONAL COSTS LINKED TO ITS PUBLIC SERVICE ACTIVITIES WHTHIN THE MEANING OF ARTICLE 90(2). IT ALSO FINDS THAT THE COMMISSION ESTABLISHED WITH SUFFICIENT CERTAINTY THE AMOUNT OF LP´S ADDITIONAL COSTS (AT LEAST FF 1,32 BILLION Ñ THE LOWER AMOUNT CALCULATED BY OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS) THEREFORE WAS WRIGHT TO CONSIDER THAT THE AID IN QUESTION FF 1.196 BILLION DID NOT EXCEED THOSES COSTS.

108 THE COURT FINDS THAT REFERENCES OF THE APPLICANTS TO “OPPORTUNITY COSTS”, “MINIMUM COSTS” OR “REFERENCE MARGIN” ARE INAPPROPRIATE. IN ABSENCE OF COMMUNTIY RULES THE COMMISSION CAN NOT RULE ON THE BASIS OF PUBLIC SERVICE TASKS ASSIGNED TO THE PUBLIC OPERATOR, OR THE EXPEDIENCY OF THE POLITICAL CHOICES MADE IN THIS REGARD BY THE NATIONAL AUTHORITIES, OR LP´S ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY IN THE SECTOR RESERVED TO IT (PG 16 IN OPINION OF AG IN CORBEAU).

109 S THE COURTS RULED ALSO IN FAVOUR OF OTHER ARGUMENTS OF THE COMMISSION REGARDING THIS THIRD PLEA.

THE THIRD PLEA WAS THEREFORE DISMISSED.

Fourth plea

I - article 90(2) does not permit the tax concession in question to be removed from the scope of the prohibition laid down by article 92 of the Treaty;

II - and the Commission failed to asses the effect which the tax concession has on competition.

First part of the plea:

131 - Article 90(2) lays down an exception to the application of the rules on competition so that it must be interpreted restrictivly. Aid can be maintained only if its abolition would prevent public services tasks from being performed.

Arguments:

132 - Then three conditions must be fulfilled before the derogation provided for by article 90(2) may be applied.

1 - the aid in question must be necessary for performance of the public service task.

2 - must be appropriate and restrict competition as little as possible.

3 - must be earmarked for public service activities and in particular it must not benefit La Poste's competitive activities under any circumstances.

133 None of these conditions is fulfilled.

1 - the tax concession in question is not necessary for performance of the public service task of delivering mail, newspapers and periodicals;

2 - neither is it the best way of promoting regional development, whereas it reduces the tax revenue of local authorities which are potential beneficiaries of regional development policy. It would have been possible, under the decentralisation law, to put in place a system of aid for La Poste whilst avoiding discriminatory and anti-competitive tax measures.

134 3 -when adopting its decision the Commission was not in a position to satisfy itself that there was no cross-subsidy for La Poste's competitive activities.

The very principle of the method of comparison used by the Commission, that of investigating whether or not the amount of tax advantage enjoyed by La Poste exceeds its additional public service costs, is open to challenge = 2 aspects of the argument:

135 Firstly, in this absence of any analytical accounts at La Poste, it is impossible to assert, as does the Commission, that the tax concession does no more than balance the additional public service costs: it benefits all the activities of La Poste including activities in the insurance sector, something which is contrary to the competition rules. In this regard, the same offices and staff are simultaneously assigned to the public interest services and competitive services.

Secondly, the Court of Justice has held that aid granted to an undertaking like La Poste in order to offset additional public service costs, enables it to release other resources for competitive activities or at least, to promote the development of those activities at less cost.

143 Firstly points out that art 92 covers all private and public undertakings and all their production.

144 Also that art 93 provides it with decision-making power which necessarily entails the exercise of a wide power assessment, which the applicants have not shown that the Commission exceeded in the contested decision.

145 Whereas LP is entrusted with management of a service of general economic interest, the financial means made available (state aid) to it in order to allow it to perform that task does not, according to case-law on art 92 and 90(2), constitute State aid within meaning of the Treaty.

152 Regarding the argument of better remedies existing to support regional development and maintaining postal services in rural areas, Commission states that it is for the national authorities, but not the Commission, to chose the best way of financing such services.

147 The overall amount of the concession granted to La Poste was lower than the additional costs which it bears in performing its public service activities so that the concession does not produce any cross-subsidy effect. Its only duty was to determine that La Posteës competitive activities did not receive any public financing.

148 The Total additional costs involved in providing the public service is then calculted on the basis of their real amount, after deducting from the total sum of additional costs the fraction which had to be regarded as having a favourable effect on La Poateís competitive activities.

149 FFSA argues that the tax concession of FF 1,196 billion granted to La Poste benefits all of its activities is unfounded since the amount of the additional public service costs is in any event hiogher, namely, FF 2,8 billion.

137 But, the data compared by the Commission is not genuinely comparable because post offices are maintained in rural areas not out of concern for profitability but owing to the need to maintain an 'administrative base' in rural areas as part of regional planning. Consequently the cost of a public service depends only on political decisions and is nothing other than the cost which the public at large wishes to devote to it.

151 Regarding argument that cost of the public service depends on political decisions, Commission states that in absence of Community harmonization in this area, it cannot take a view on the expediency of the political choices made by the French authorities.

FINDINGS OF THE COURT

165 ECJ ACCEPTS THE COMMISSIONS ARGUMENTS THAT ART 92 COVERS ALL UNDERTAKINGS AND ALL THEIR PRODUCTION AND THUS THAT THE COMMISSION´S POWER, BY ART 93, TO ASSESS THE COMPATIBILITY OF AID WITH THE COMMON MARKET ALSO EXTENDS TO STATE AID GRANTED TO UNDERTAKINGS REFERRED TO IN ART 90(2), IN PARTICULAR THOSE WHICH MEMBER STATES HAVE ENTRUSTED WITH THE MANAGEMENT OF SERVICES OF GENERAL ECONOMIC INTEREST.

167 IN PRINCIPLE THE TAX CONCESSION CONSTITUTES STATE AID, WITHIN 92(1) SINCE, ALTHOUGH NOT TAKING THE FORM OF A TRANSFER OF RESOURCES, IT PLACES LP IN A MORE FAVOURABLE FINANCIAL SITUATION THAN OTHER TAXPAYERS. (REFERS TO ITS EARLIER JUDGEMENTS THAT AID, WITHIN 92(1), COVERS ADVANTAGES GRANTED BY THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES WHICH, IN VARIOUS FORMS, MITIGATE THE CHARGES NORMALLY INCLUDED IN AN UNDERTAKINGS BUDGET).

172 FROM THE WORDING OF THE DEROGATION IN ART 90(2), ESP. THE WORDS “IN SO FAR AS THE APPLICATION OF SUCH RULES (ART 92 RULES) DOES NOT OBSTRUCT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PARTICULAR TASKS´THAT” IT FOLLOWS THAT WHERE ART 90(2) CAN BE RELIED UPON, A STATE MEASURE COUGHT BY ART 92(1), MAY NEVERTHELESS BE CONSIDERED TO BE COMPATIBLE WITH THE COMMON MARKET.

173 ART 90(2) MUST BE INTERPRETED RESTICTIVELY. THEREFORE NOT ENOUGH THAT THE UNDERTAKING IN QUESTION HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED BY THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES WITH THE OPERATION OF GENERAL ECONOMIC INTEREST: THE APPLICATION OF THE TREATY RULES, ESPECIALLY ART 92, MUST ALSO OBSTRUCT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PARTICULAR TASKS ASSIGNED TO THE UNDERTAKING AND COMMUNITY INTERESTS NOT BE AFFECTED.

174 THE COURT REFERS TO THE ALMELO CASE AND ITS RULING THERE THAT RESTRICTIONS ON COMPETITION FROM OTHER ECONOMIC OPERATORS MAY BY PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO 90(2) IN SO FAR AS NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE UNDERTAKING TO PERFORM A TASK OF GENERAL INTEREST ASSIGNED TO IT. DUE TO THAT IN THE ALMELO CASE THE APPLICATION OF AN EXCLUSIVE PURCHASING CLAUSE COULD ESCAPE THE PROHIBITIONS LAID DOWN IN ART 85 AND 86. SIMILAR CONCLUSION IN THE CORBEAU CASE.

178 BY HAVING SAID THAT THE COURT CONSIDERS THAT THE CASE-LAW ON APPLICATION OF ART 85 AND 86, CAN BE APPLIED, MUTATIS MUTANDIS, TO THE FIELD OF STATE AID, SO THAT THE GRANT OF STATE AID MAY, UNDER ART 90(2), ESCAPE THE PROHIBITION LAID DOWN IN ART 92.

179 THE COURT FINDS THAT THE AID IN QUESTION (TAX CONCESSION) WAS NOT GREATER THAN NECESSARY TO ENSURE LP´S TASKS OF PUBLIC INTEREST. THEREFORE ART 90(2) WAS APPLICABLE AND NO INFRINGEMENT OF ART 92.

182 S REGARDING METHODS USED BY THE COMMISSION FOR EVALUATION OF ITS DECISION THE COURT ACCEPTS THE ARGUMENTS AND CALCULATION METHODS OF THE COMMISSION. POINTS OUT THAT APPLICATION OF COMPETITION RULES IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES NECESSARILY INVOLVES COMPLEX ECONOMIC AND LEGAL ASSESSMENTS WHICH MUST BE MADE WITHIN A COMMUNITY CONTEXT. (THE COMMISSION MUST THEREFORE BE ALLOWED A CERTAIN DISCRETION IN DECIDING THE MOST APPROPRIATE METHOD FOR MAKING SURE THAT THE COMPETITIVE ACTIVITIES DO NOT RECEIVE ANY CROSS-SUBSIDY. ANOTHER CONCLUSION WOULD RENDER ART 90(2) ENTIRELY INEFFECTIVE).

192 THE COURT IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE COMMISSION THAT THE LATTER HAS NO POWER TO TAKE A POSITION ON THE ORGANIZATION AND SCALE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE TASKS ASSIGNED TO A PUBLIC UNDERTAKING OR ON THE EXPEDIENCY OF POLITICAL CHOICES MADE IN THIS REGARD BY THE COMPETENT NATIONAL AUTHORITIES, PROVIDED THAT THE AID IN QUESTION DOES NOT BENEFIT THE ACTIVITIES PURSUED IN COMPETITIVE SECTORS OR EXCEED WHAT IS NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE UNDERTAKING CONCERNED TO PERFORM THE PARTICULAR TASK ASSIGNED TO IT.

THE FIRST PART OF THE PLEA THEREFORE DISMISSED.

Second part of the plea:

The Commission failed to assess the effect which the tax concession has on competition.

Arguments:

138 - First of all, the tax concession constitutes aid within the meaning of Article 92 of the Treaty.

139 - In order to classify aid for the purpose of article 92(1) of the Treaty, all that needs to be determined is the effect of the aid on competition and not its purpose or its form and thus the alleged fiscal nature or social aim of the measure at issue cannot suffice to shield it from the application of article 92.

The same applies to aid granted to an undertaking entrusted with the management of services of general economic interest.

In this regard FFSA refers to the Commission's administrative practice and to the jurisprudence of the court of justice.

146 seq Denies not having abided to the principle on that classification of a measure must be based on the effects which the measure has on competition. Its only duty was to determine that LP´s competitive activities did not receive any public financing. Points out that it found that overall amount of tax concession (state aid) was lower than additional costs regarding to public service so therefore no cross-subsidy effect existed.

The French Government (intervener)

155 Although one should take into account effects of the aid in question on competition, the main emphasis should be laid on the reasons for and the purpose of the aid. Referring to the Corbeau case (pg 19) it could be stated that in the present case it is all the more important to determine the purpose of the State measure in question and that it may be justified under art 90(2). Points out that LP is entrusted with a public service task in the France´s regional development policy.

La Poste:

161 Points out that the 1990 Law had the effect of making it subject, for the most part to the ordinary tax regime, whereas before enaction of that law it was subject to the tax regime of State administration.

141 - Plus, La Poste activities in the insurance sector also benefit from this aid.

The same applies even if the tax reduction was smaller because, in order for aid to be caught by article 92(1), it is not necessary to prove that there is a substancial effect on competition or on trade between Member States.

When State aid strengthens the position of an undertaking in relation to other undertakings competing in intra-Community trade, the latters must be regarded as affected by that aid.

142 - Finally, FFSA points out that when urging the French authorities to ensure that La Poste's accounting system includes compliance with the rules of Community law, in particular so that no subsidies are provided to activities which do not constitute public service tasks', the Commission acknowledges that the lack of accounting transparency could lead to cross-subsidization of competitive activities and that these activities could also contribute to the financing of La Poste's public service.

150 Regarding on the actual principle of the comparative method used the Commission points out that it has no power, under art 92 and 93, to force Member States to ensure accounting transparency. Methods used was also the only one with which it was possible to reach a decision reasonably quickly.

154 Finally the Commission observes that comparision with the Eni-Lanerossi Case is irrelevant whereas in that case the recipient of the aid did not have to assume public service obligations which could offset the public financing.

195 ACCORDING TO CASE-LAW REGARDING ART 92 A STATE MEASURE MUST BE JUDGED ON THE BASIS OF ITS EFFECTS ON COMPETITION, WITHOUT MAKING ANY DISTINCTION ACCORDING TO THE CAUSES OR AIMS OF THE AID IN QUESTION (ALFA ROMEO CASE).

196 IN PRESENT CASE THE COMMISSION NOT SIMPLY LOOKED AT THE AIM OF THE TAX CONCESSION BUT MADE SURE THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF IT WAS LESS THAN THE ADDITIONAL COSTS BORNE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE ACTIVITIES. THE ABOVE METIONED PRINCIPLE WAS THEREFORE ADEQUATELY ADHERED.

SECOND PART OF THE PLEA THEREFORE DISMISSED.

THUS THE PLEA OF BREACH OF ART 90(2) AND ART 92 OF THE TREATY WERE DISMISSED.

ALTHOUGH THE COMMISSION WAS WRONG IN ITS DECISION ABOUT THAT THE MEASURE IN QUESTION DID NOT CONSTITUTE STATE AID WITHIN MEANING OF ART 92(1), CONTRARY TO THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT, THE COURT FOUND THAT SUCH AN ASSESSMENT WHICH HAD NO EFFECT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE EXAMINATION OF THE AID IN QUESTION, SHOULD NOT ENTAIL ANNULMENT OF THE CONTESTED DECISION

References

Cases:

Communityinstitutions acts on postal services:

Green Book of the Commission COM (91) 476 final 11 June 1992 on the internal market developement of the postal services.

European Parliament resolution of the 22 January 1993 on the Green Book on the internal market developement of the postal services, OJEC n°C42 of 15 february 1993.

Council resolution n°94/C 48/92 of the 7 February 1994 on the communitary's postal services development.

Communication of the Commission n° 95/C 322/03 of the 2 December 1995 on the implementaion of the competition rules in the postal sector and, on the evaluation of some State Aids measures regarding postal services, OJEC n°C 322 2 December 1995.

Proposition of directive from the European Parliament and from the Council n° 95/227 of the 26 July 1995 regarding the common rules for the communitary postal services and the improvement of the quality of the service, OJEC n°C322 of the 2 December 19995.

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