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26.9.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 299/39

customers are the UK electricity power generators, but it aid to mines which, on the applicant's own
is also trying to find a market for its coal overseas, in calculations and those of its advisers, can never be
particular in Germany and Spain. On 10 June 1998, the viable. Second, the effect of the aid is contributing
Commission adopted the contested Decision which was towards reducing permanently the production capacity
addressed to Germany. Article 1 of the Decision purported of the lowest cost large-scale producer of steam coal in
to approve operating aid of DEM 6 299 million under the Community and the producer with the best (if not
Article 3 of the Code (1), closure aid of DEM 3 205 the only) long-term prospects of viability having
million under Article 4 of the Code, operating aid of regard to current world market conditions.
DEM 87 million of the Code to maintain underground
miners, aid of DEM 200 million to cover exceptional
(1) Commission Decision No 3632/93/ECSC of 28 December
losses under Article 5 of the Code to Ruhrkohle AG,
1993, establishing Community rules for State aid to the coal
Saarbergwerke AG, Preussag Anthrazit GmbH and Sophia industry (OJ L 329, 30.12.1993, p. 12).
Jacob GmbH and, finally, aid of DEM 609,2 million to
cover exceptional costs under Article 5 of the Code to
Ruhrkohle AG, Saarbergwerke AG and Sophia Jacob AG,
enabling those companies to cover the cost which result
and have resulted from the restructuring of the coal
industry and which do not relate to current production.

Action brought on 20 July 1998 by RJB Mining plc
The applicant claims to be gravely concerned by this against the Commission of the European Communities
decision, as the British coal industry has over the last 10
years undergone massive restructuring and rationalisation. (Case T-111/98)
(98/C 299/70)
The applicant seeks annulment of the contested decision
on the grounds of:
(Language of the case: English)

Ð lack of competence: the Code expressly provides that
no aid may be granted until it has been approved by An action against the Commission of the European
the Commission. In breach of this requirement, the Communities was brought before the Court of First
Commission on 10 June 1998 apparently purported to Instance of the European Communities on 20 July 1998
approve retroactively aid which had already been by RJB Mining plc, represented by Mark Brealey and
granted by the German Government in 1997, Jonathan Lawrence, with an address for service in
Luxembourg at the Offices of Arendt & Medernach, 8Ð
10, rue Mathias Hardt, boite postale 39.
Ð lack of reasoning: despite the requirement of
transparency on the ECSC Treaty, the contested
Decision fails to explain the basis on which the aid
was granted. Under the Code, operating aid can only The applicant claims that the Court should:
be granted if an undertaking or production unit has a
reasonable prospect of achieving viability within the
foreseeable future, yet the contested Decision contains Ð annul the Commission Decision of 3 June 1998
no facts which would enable the applicant to verify relating to financial interventions from Spain to the
the viability of any mine. Similarly, the Code provides coal industry from 1994 to 1998, which purport to
that closure aid can only be granted if the relevant authorise Spain to grant aid to its coal industry, and
production unit will (save in exceptional
circumstances) close at a date prior to 2002. The
contested Decision does not specify any dates for
closure of production units. Moreover, the contested Ð order that the Commission pay the costs of the action,
Decision implicitly rejects, without reasons, a including those of the applicant.
complaint field with the Commission by the applicant
on 5 May 1998,
Pleas in law and main arguments adduced in support:

Ð infringement of the principle of good administration:
the applicant formally complained about the grant of
The applicant is the same as in Case T-110/98 (application
the German aid on 5 May 1998. On 10 June 1998 the
for the annulment of the Commission Decision of 10 June
Commission acknowledged receipt of the complaint
1998 relating to financial interventions from Germany to
and stated that the applicant would be kept informed.
the coal industry in 1997).
Yet on the same day the Commission adopted the
contested Decision,

On 3 June 1998 the Commission adopted the three
Ð manifest infringement of the Treaty and the Code: contested Decisions which were addressed to the Kingdom
First, the contested Decision has purported to approve of Spain: the first Decision relates to aid from Spain to its
C 299/40 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 26.9.98

coal mining industry for the years 1994, 1995 and 1996; Removal from the register of Case T-49/98 (1)
the second and third Decisions concern the years 1997 (98/C 299/72)
and 1998. All of the contested Decisions contain operating
aids under Article 3 of the Code (1), closure aids under (Language of the case: Dutch)
Article 4 of the Code as well as aids to cover exceptional
charges under Article 5 of the Code. By order of 15 July 1998 the President of the Second
Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the European
Communities has ordered the removal from the register of
The applicant claims to be gravely concerned by these Case T-49/98 ALZ NV v. Commission of the European
Decisions, as the British coal industry has over the last 10 Communities.
years undergone massive restructuring and rationalisation
and as the company was also trying to find a market for (1) OJ C 137, 2.5.1998.
its coal overseas, in particular in Germany and Spain.

The pleas in law and main arguments are, with the
exception of an alleged infringement of the principle of
good administration, identical to those raised in Case Removal from the register of Joined Cases T-56/98 and
T-110/98 (2). T-56/98 R (1)
(98/C 299/73)
(1) Commission Decision No 3632/93/ECSC of 28 December
1993, establishing Community rules for State aid to the coal (Language of the case: English)
industry (OJ L 329, 30.12.1993, p. 12).
(2) See page 38 of this Official Journal. By order of 17 June 1998 the President of the First
Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the European
Communities has ordered the removal from the register of
Cases T-56/98 and T-56/98 R VTech Electronics (UK) plc
v. Commission of the European Communities.

(1) OJ C 166, 30.5.1998.
Partial removal from the register of Case T-185/96 (1)
(98/C 299/71)

(Language of the case: French)
Removal from the register of Case T-60/98 (1)
(98/C 299/74)
By order of 10 July 1998 the President of the Third
Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the European (Language of the case: French)
Communities has ordered the removal of the name of the
applicant Max Labat Automobiles 17 from the list of By order of 2 July 1998 the President of the Second
names of the applicants in Case T-185/96 Max Labat Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the European
Automobiles 17 and Riviera Auto Service Ets Dalmasso v. Communities has ordered the removal from the register of
Commission of the European Communities. Case T-60/98 Ecord Consortium for Russian Cooperation,
composed of the following members: Danagro Adviser A/
S, Plunkett Foundation and Irish Agri-Food Development
(1) OJ C 54, 22.2.1997. Ltd v. Commission of the European Communities.

(1) OJ C 209, 4.7.1998.