Language of document :

Appeal brought on 17 February 2021 by Danske Slagtermestre against the order of the General Court (Third Chamber) delivered on 1 December 2020 in Case T-486/18, Danske Slagtermestre v European Commission

(Case C-99/21 P)

Language of the case: Danish


Appellant: Danske Slagtermestre (represented by: H. Sønderby Christensen, advokat)

Other parties to the proceedings: European Commission and Kingdom of Denmark

Form of order sought

The appellant claims that the Court should:

set aside the order of the General Court of 1 December 2020 in Case T-486/18.

Grounds of appeal and main arguments

First ground of appeal: the General Court misapplies the requirement of direct concern. In support of that ground, the appellant claims that it is sufficient, in order to be directly concerned, that Danske Slagtermestre explained the reasons why the stepped system is liable to place its members in an unfavourable competitive position (see paragraphs 47 and 50 of the judgment in Case C-622/16 P – C-624/16 P). 1 The General Court therefore erred in taking the view, in paragraph 103 of the order under appeal, that Danske Slagtermestre must demonstrate which specific members have been affected and how exactly the stepped system affects their competitive position.

Second ground of appeal: the General Court overlooks the fact that the requirement for individual concern is not applicable to cases covered by the third part of the fourth paragraph of Article 263 TFEU. The appellant therefore claims that the General Court’s order is vitiated by error in so far as, in assessing direct concern in paragraph 103 it makes a reference to the considerations in paragraphs 71 to 77 concerning individual concern. The General Court explicitly states both in paragraph 63, which heads the section, and in paragraph 82, which concludes it, that paragraphs 71 to 77 concern the criteria for individual concern, exclusively.

Third ground of appeal: the General Court overlooks the fact that the criteria applied by the Court in C-622/16 P – C-624/16 P confirm that the requirement of direct concern is met in the present case. The appellant claims thus that Danske Slagtermestre properly stated that (i) the activities are similar, (ii) its members are active in the same market for goods and services as the company supported by the aid, and (iii) its members are active in the same geographical market as the company supported by the aid. In the present case its members’ activities are not merely similar but are identical to the activity of the beneficiary of the aid.

Fourth ground of appeal: the General Court uses the word ‘demonstrated’ incorrectly in paragraph 103, since that word constitutes a significant intensification of the terms ‘explained’ or ‘set out’. In that connection the appellant claims that it is not the case that Danske Slagtermestre has not explained the reasons why the members are exposed to competition which is distorted by the stepped system. The requirement that the beneficiary is released from costs which it would normally have had to bear in its day-to-day management or normal activities is already met. That follows from the case-law of the Court (see, inter alia, Case C-172/03, Heiser, paragraph 55). 2

Fifth ground of appeal: the General Court, in any event, misapplies the facts of the case and, therefore, paragraphs 71 to 77 contain errors of law. The appellant claims, first, that the General Court errs in expressing reservations as regards some of the information provided by Danske Slagtermestre despite that information not being contested by the Commission or the Danish Government, and, second, that the General Court erred in ignoring a number of important details which Danske Slagtermestre set out on several occasions in its application, reply and annexes.


1 Judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 November 2018, Scuola Elementare Maria Montessori v Commission, Commission v Scuola Elementare Maria Montessori and Commission v Ferracci (C-622/16 P to C-624/16 P, EU:C:2018:873).

2 Judgment of the Court of Justice of 3 March 2005 (C‑172/03, EU:C:2005:130).