IFPEN prevails in State aid case against EU Commission
Clients Institut Français du Pétrole
Jones Day client Institut Français du Pétrole (IFPEN), a major French petroleum institute now known as IFP Énergies nouvelles, secured an important victory when the EU General Court in Luxembourg annulled a European Commission finding that government support of the institute constituted State aid.
The European Commission had issued a decision in 2011 declaring that all entities structured as EPICs (établissement public à caractere industriel et commercial) should be deemed to benefit from an implicit unlimited guarantee from the French government, which constituted State aid. The Commission's reasoning was based on the fact that EPICs are prevented from going bankrupt under French Law.
On behalf of IFPEN, Jones Day convinced the Court that the onus was on the Commission to prove for each EPIC the existence of a specific advantage resulting from the entity’s EPIC status and that the Commission had failed to do so in the case of IFPEN.
France and IFP Énergies nouvelles v Commission, Joined Cases T-479/11 and T-157/12 (EU General Court)