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DOI: 10.33226/0137-5490.2021.10.4
JEL: K21, K29, H71

A state aid perspective on the use of private intermediaries to carry out public tasks

The use of private intermediaries constitute one of the aspect of the privatization of public tasks whereby these intermediaries use the funds obtained from the State to conclude business contracts with undertakings thus fulfilling public policy objectives. From a State aid perspective, this raises the challenge when intermediaries' activities shall be imputable to the State to fall within the ambit of State aid rules especially when their commercial interest is at least partially dependent upon allocation of State's funds. In the light of the above, this paper will attempt to answer the questions when States can be deemed have acted as rational operators in a market economy, by providing remuneration for services offered by intermediaries, and conversely when States' conduct may constitute State aid within the meaning of Article 107 TFEU. Whether the existing legal framework can identify possible impacts on competition and trade resulting from intermediaries' activities.

Keywords: state aid; Market Economy Operator Test; imputability criterion; privatisation of public tasks



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