The European Commission has referred the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) following its failure to comply with a Decision of 13 December 2000. This Decision required the Netherlands to recover unlawful and incompatible aid of EUR 2.5 million awarded to six manure processing companies. More than six years after the Decision, one beneficiary of the aid, Fleuren Compost, has still not reimbursed its share (EUR 487,000 plus interest). Following the Decision, the Netherlands started an administrative procedure to recover the aid. However, after a series of judgments, the Dutch courts ruled that the recovery of the interest element had to be based on civil law. Therefore, in June 2006 the Dutch authorities started proceedings before the civil courts for recovery of the aid and interest, but this could take several years. The Commission considers that the Netherlands has not complied with its obligation to achieve an immediate and effective execution of the Decision of 13 December 2000 and has referred the case to the ECJ.
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State aid: Netherlands referred to court for failure to recover illegal aid
- McDermott Will & Emery
- Juan Gutiérrez
- European Union, Netherlands
- February 2 2007
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