No record of public enforcement of State aid rules in Malta – lawyer

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Legal counsel Clement Mifsud-Bonnici said that there is no record of public enforcement of State aid rules in Malta. He also said that there are “very few examples of judicial proceedings initiated by private entities relying on the State aid legal framework for a remedy”.

Mifsud Bonnici said this in his replies to the questionnaire that commissioned as part of a European study on the enforcement of State aid rules and decisions by national courts.

The lawyer also mentioned that there is no specialised court to hear cases concerning the public enforcement of State aid rules. He added that the competent court in cases concerning the public enforcement of State aid rules is the First Hall of the Civil Court, which has a competence all claims of a civil and commercial nature including monetary claims of up to €15,000.

Mifsud Bonnici elaborates that there is no record of any recovery of State aid through the national courts. He believes that this is “not surprising” as there is generally little or no understanding of State aid rules in Malta from private parties.

The study has shown that over 66% of the cases in the EU related to private enforcement of EU State aid were rejected by national courts.

Clement Mifsud Bonnici is an associate with Ganado Advocates. According to his biography on the legal firm’s website, he assists clients in corporate and commercial matters and focuses on competition issue, state aid and public procurement.