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State aid as a European Commission policy lever: how much further?

Shearman & Sterling LLP


While state aid has always been political, the first Vestager mandate used it aggressively to pursue tax harmonisation/fairness, energy regulation and bank resolution policy objectives. With many of these cases now generating judgments, how much room for maneuver does the European Commission still have and what are the next targets?



James Webber
(Antitrust partner at Shearman & Sterling)

James Webber is a partner in the antitrust practice in Shearman & Sterling’s Brussels and London offices, where he focuses on EU and UK antitrust law.

James’s competition practice covers merger control, behavioural competition, state aid and litigation. His work has included acting as lead adviser on EUMR and CMA merger approvals, state aid notifications and litigation, defending cartel damages actions, advising in respect of UK market investigations and studies as well as counseling clients on on-going antitrust and competition matters.

James is a leading figure in the next generation of antitrust lawyers. He has featured on Who’s Who Legal’s Future Leaders – Competition list since its inception in 2017 (2019). In 2015 Global Competition Review selected him as one of the "40 under 40" brightest antitrust lawyers in the world. James is recognised in Chambers and Legal 500. He is often sought out as a speaker and for commentary on developments in EU and UK antitrust law as well as on state aid.


Paschalis Paschalidis
(International Arbitration senior associate at Shearman & Sterling and former referendaire at the European Court of Justice)

Paschalis Paschalidis is a senior associate in the international arbitration and public international law practices of Shearman & Sterling’s Paris office.

Paschalis represents and advises companies and states in international arbitrations conducted under the auspices of a variety of rules, including ICSID, SCC, ICC and UNCITRAL rules. His practice focuses on commercial and investment disputes with an EU law nexus. From 2012 to 2018, Paschalis served as a référendaire at the Court of Justice of the European Union, where he assisted First Advocate General Melchior Wathelet in a variety of cases raising questions of international law and arbitration, state aid, EU sanctions and restrictive measures, direct taxation and VAT, IP law, fisheries and law of the sea, private international law, equal treatment at work and protection against discrimination, EU fundamental freedoms and citizenship rights as well as EU institutional law.


James Webber
Paschalis Paschalidis


19 March 2020
15:30 - 16:30 UTC