Does the Federal Government violate European competition law in accordance with Art. 107 e. s. AEUV if it financially supports a non-profit sports club in its task of health and social policy in the context of governmental tasks?

The background.

A company based in Berlin, Magic Mountain, operates a commercial climbing indoor center claims that it is a disadvantage. More and more, athletes do not want to be active in sports clubs, but are looking for their own sports facilities, as well as a series of different types of trend sport. The operators of such sports centers are disadvantaged by the government’s promotion of sports clubs. Magic Mountain lodged a complaint against the Federal Republic at the EU Commission.

The rationale behind the EuG is summarized as follows:

The amateur sport, not just the professional sport, is subject to EU law and therefore to the provisions on the aid under Article 107 et seq. AEUV, a national sport promotion must be compatible with this. This means that non-profit associations are in competition with economically active providers. If sports promotion is given assistance, the issue of admissibility is a question of cross-border domestic relevance. According to the current opinion, a sport promotion of a national amateur sports club is then covered by the given assistance if a threshold of € 200,000.00 is exceeded. It is then necessary to examine whether this is compatible with the European internal market. Compatibility is given if the support is for the benefit of the members alone and therefore the tasks of general interest are fulfilled and there are no significant effects on competitors from other Member States ( EuG, RS.T – 162 / 13 ).

This point of view will now have to be taken into account by the Federal Administrative Court ( Bundesverwaltungsgericht ), the last national authority which decides on the legal dispute.

Foto: © andreaobzerova / Depositphotos.com