In its judgment delivered on 10 November 2022 in case C-211/20 P, the Court has upheld the judgment of the General Court annulling a decision adopted by the Commission in July 2013.
In its decision, the Commission had found that public guarantees granted in 2009/2010 to Fundación Valencia by the IVF, a financial institution of the Government of Valencia, for commercial bank loans entailed the grant of incompatible state aid and ordered their recovery. Valencia FC brought an action for annulment before the General Court, which ruled in favour of the football club.
In its appeal, the Commission asked the Court to set aside this judgment on the basis of an alleged erroneous interpretation of the concept of economic advantage within the meaning of the Treaty.
The Court of Justice addresses the question of the burden of proof and refers to the requirements which the Commission had imposed upon itself by adopting a notice on state aid in the form of guarantees. Furthermore, it refers to the substantiation of findings and the use of the power to make a specific request to the national authorities or interested parties during administrative procedures to obtain the production of relevant evidence for the purposes of the assessment to be carried out.
For further information : Court’s press release