E-9/19 Abelia and WTW AS v EFTA Surveillance Authority

EFTA-case

Klik hier voor het dossier van het EVA-hof (voor zover beschikbaar).

Deadlines: Motivation ministry:          17 February 2020
Written observations:                          3 April 2020 (ultimate deadline)

Keywords : State aid; eHealth; EFTA;

Subject :

•          Article 61(1) of the Agreement on the European Economic Area;

•          Article 4(2) of the Agreement between the EFTA States on the establishment of a Surveillance Authority and a Court of Justice’’

•          EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision No 57/19 COL, of 10 July 2019;

 

Facts of the case and arguments of the parties:

The Applicants are Abelia and WTW AS. Abelia is a trade and employers association within Norway’s largest employers’ organisation; the NHO. WTW AS is a software developer and a member company of the trade organisation Abelia. On 10 July 2019, the EFTA surveillance Authority (the Authority) adopted Decision No 57/19/COL (the contested decision). The Authority adopted the contested decision based on a notification from the Norwegian Government dated 3 may 2019, “on public financing of health and digital health infrastructure in the Norwegian healthcare system”. The contested decision is based on Article 4(2) of the SCA Agreement, where the Authority found that the notified measures did not confer an economic advantage to Norsk Hesenett SF (NHN) within the meaning of Article 61(1) of the EEA Agreement. NHN is a public corporation owned by the Ministry, and Norwegian Directorate of eHealth. Its aim is to implement the national policy and instruction on eHealth from the Ministry. The Applicants challenge the fact that the Authority adopted the contested decision in relation to the aid without initiating the formal investigation procedure, thereby infringing the Applicant’s procedural rights. Consequently, the Applicants submit that the EFTA Court should annul the contested decision. The defendant is the EFTA Surveillance Authority. The defendant submits that this plea by the Applicants is unfounded. It argues that the Authority is only obliged to initiate the formal investigation procedure if it is unable to overcome all doubts or difficulties raised that the measures at stake do not constitute State aid.

 

Cited (recent) case-law: (E-1/13); Den norske forleggerforening (E-1/12); (E-5/07); Bundesverband deutscher Banken v European Commission (T-36/06); Republic of Austria (C-46/10 P); (T-319/99); (C-205/03 P); (C-180/98); (C-41/90); (C-203/99); (C-475/99); (T-216/15); (C-159/91 and C-160/91); AOK et al (C-246/01, C-306/0, C-351/01 and C-355/01); (C-190/98 and C-184/98); (C-263/86); (C-422/01); (C-157/99); (C-281/06); Scottish Salmon Growers Association Ltd v EFTA Surveillance Authority (E-2/94); Norwegian Bankers’ Association v EFTA Surveillance Authority (E-4/97); TBW and Bellona v EFTA Surveillance Authority (E-2/02); Abelia v EFTA Surveillance Authority (E-8/13); (E-5/07); Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus Aktiengesellschaft and others v Commission (T-69/96); Konkurrenten.no AS v EFTA Surveillance Authority (E-1/17); Commission v Italy (C-118/85); (C-30/87); SAT/Eurocontrol (C-364/92); (C-343/95); Tendernet (T-138/15); Aanbestedingskalender BV and Others v European Commission (C-687/17 P); SELEX Sistemi Integrati v Commission (C-113/07 P); Matra SA v Commission (C-225/91);

Policy area: EZK