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Public Financing In The Port Sector And State Aid Rules

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the application of state aid rules in the port sector with particular focus on two distinct aspects of seaport public financing: infrastructure funding and state participation in ports' capital. The analysis is based on the provisions of primary EC law and on non-obligatory acts of secondary legislation, such as the Commission's communications on seaports. The managing bodies of the port involved in business activities may compete in the market under conditions and terms similar to those applying to private undertakings. To ensure respect for the principle of neutrality between public and private companies, the Commission's consistent practice in all industrial and services sectors open to competition has been to apply the so-called "market economy investor principle". This principle is used to assess the existence of State aid both in cases of public funding of port user-specific infrastructures and in cases of state participation to seaports' capital.

Keywords: EC law; infrastructure funding; market economy investor principle; port sector; public financing; state aid rules



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