Article 346(1) TFEU and Strategic Autonomy: A Possible Loophole to Grant State Aid in the Context of Geopolitical Struggles?

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Samenvatting

The current geopolitical situation has led to various calls for investment in Europe’s strategic autonomy, for example with regard to the defence and security sector. However, the possibil-ity for Member States to grant financial support is restricted by EU State aid law, leading some stakeholders to argue that there is a friction between the geopolitical need to invest in Europe’s strategic autonomy on the one hand, and EU State aid law on the other. In this con-tribution, we examine whether Member States could avoid and/or alleviate this friction by in-voking Article 346(1)(b) TFEU. This Treaty provision, often overlooked by legal scholars, stip-ulates that Member States may, in principle, take all measures they consider necessary for the protection of their essential security interests, without having to consider EU State aid law. By analysing relevant case-law of the EU Courts, however, we argue that the aforementioned Treaty provision has a limited scope, and that, therefore, Member States, in principle, must comply with the EU State aid rules when they contribute to Europe’s strategic autonomy.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)150-160
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftEuropean State Aid Law Quarterly
Volume22
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
DOI's
StatusPublished - 2023

Bibliografische nota

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© 2023, Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. All rights reserved.

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