ECJ upholds General Court’s dismissal of Greenpeace Energy eG’s State Aid complaint

Luxembourg, 24th October 2017: The European Court of Justice has published its decision upholding a General Court order that dismissed Greenpeace Energy eG’s action challenging the European Commission’s decision to allow State Aid for the UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. 

The appeal by Greenpeace Energy after the General Court ruled on 29 September 2016 that Greenpeace Energy eG’s complaint was inadmissible as it itself was not directly affected by the Commission’s decision to approve State Aid.  

The ECJ has now dismissed Greenpeace’s appeal on the basis that it is unfounded in its entirety.

Whilst the controversy over the granting of State Aid to Hinkley Point C will, undoubtedly, rumble on (challenges by Austria and Luxembourg are extant), the ECJ’s ruling nevertheless upholds an important principle in State Aid control: 

Only those who are directly affected by a State Aid decision have the legal standing to challenge it.  Third Parties, whilst undoubtedly interested bystanders, have no role in the judicial process.