Front cover

De Minimis Aid under EU Law

September 2022 Author: Ricardo Pedro, Faculty of Law, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal



  • Published: September 2022
  • Pages: xv + 147 pp.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: Springer

This book deals with de minimis aid and demonstrates that it is both a sui generis legal concept in the context of State aid and subject to a complex regime.

On the one hand, it is a sui generis concept in that (i) it seeks to strike a balance between simplifying the grant process and not distorting competition in the internal market, while being a tool that Member States are able to apply easily and (ii) it is subject to ex ante control by Member States. On the other hand, it is complex in that (i) it requires determining the sectors of economic activity it applies to; (ii) a few notions specific to the regime are not easy to understand, such as the notion of "single undertaking"; and (iii) it requires combining four de minimis regimes (one general and three special), which in turn requires reconciling those regimes with each other and with other aid, not least because of the cumulation rules. Lastly, these particularities were also reflected in the recovery regime for unlawful de minimis aid.

Aimed at lawyers, legal consultants and those working in undertakings as well as students, the book provides a comprehensive overview of the current de minimis regimes and is clear and complete, while also proposing a fresh view on the area of EU State aid law.

Ricardo Pedro is Researcher at the Centro de Investigação de Direito Público (CIDP), Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.

Specific to this book:

  • This book is about whether, why and to what extent de minimis matters and proposes a fresh view on this area
  • It deals in a clear, simple, comprehensive way with the different de minimis regimes, namely their scope
  • It is well-founded and documented in the legislation, the case law of the Court of Justice and the legal literature

With a foreword by José Luís da Cruz Vilaça, Professor of EU law and lawyer; Former Judge and Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union; former President of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities

Excerpts from a book review:

The book by Pedro motivates us (…) to look at the essentials of the State aid legal framework that we have grown to take for granted.
(…) Pedro comprehensively presents the de minimis regimes, not only the general one, but also those applicable to Services of General Economic Interest, aid in the agricultural sector, and aid in the fishery and aquaculture sector.
Pedro’s book is a valuable and refreshing contribution to the State aid literature and the author was right to delve into this less flamboyant area of State aid law to challenge its givens. In particular, the book may be considered as a reality check for the perception of de minimis aid as a brilliant-in-its-simplicity means of qualifying measures as harmless for competition.
- Anna Nowak-Salles in Common Market Law Review, 2023

The review is available at:

Subscribe to keep up to date with our publications