Written Question: Restrictive interpretation of parties able to lodge a complaint

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 28 May 2021
Question for written answer E-002831/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Eleonora Evi (Verts/ALE), Piernicola Pedicini (Verts/ALE), Ignazio Corrao (Verts/ALE)

Subject: Restrictive interpretation of parties able to lodge a complaint

On 31 March 2021, a group of environmental associations lodged a complaint with DG Competition concerning Italy’s infringement of the state aid rules under Article 107 of the TFEU on the grounds that, in the granting of aid for hydroelectric sources, compliance with Directive 2000/60/EC was not being ensured.

On 3 May 2021, DG Competition replied that, under Regulation (EU) 2015/1589, the parties entitled to lodge a complaint were ‘any party whose interests may be affected by the aid measure such as, for example, competing undertakings or trade associations’ and that, therefore, the aforementioned associations were not entitled to do so.

Can the Commission therefore answer the following questions:

  1. Does it not think that the exclusion of environmental associations (recognised in the Member States and entitled to bring legal proceedings in environmental matters) from the definition of ‘interested parties’ is an excessively restrictive interpretation of Regulation (EU) 2015/1589?
  2. In its view, does such a restrictive interpretation not run counter to a recent judgment by the EU General Court in Case T-9/19, upholding the action of ClientEarth against the EIB’s decision which had rejected, as inadmissible, the request for review of the resolution of the EIB Board of Directors approving the financing of a biomass power generation plant project in Galicia, Spain?


(1) This question is supported by a Member other than the authors: Rosa D’Amato (Verts/ALE)

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