Er anlæg af en bro underlagt EU’s statsstøtteregler - og i givet fald - bør dette være tilfældet?

Josefine Bjødstrup

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger

Abstrakt

The center of the thesis is the construction of bridges and whether they are – and should be – subject to EU state aid rules. This research field is dominated by disagreements, which makes it interesting to study and furthermore, the planned Femern-Bælt connection makes it an extremely topical subject. The analysis is based on the examination of three different kinds of models for funding of bridges, respectively a tax-financed-, a user-paid-, and a user-financed model. Initially, in the economic analysis, it is examined whether the construction of a bridge is considered a firm according to economic theory of the firm, when the definition is to be used in relation to EU state aid rules. It is deduced that the definition of a firm is based on a behavioral assumption of profit maximization, derived from the neoclassical theory of the firm, which has proven to be the leading theory to use in this context. With this in mind, it is concluded that the user-paid model is considered as a firm, while the tax-financed and the user-financed models cannot be described as firms since they do not meet the profit maximization assumption. Next, in the legal analysis, it is examined whether the construction of a bridge is an economic activity in accordance with EU state aid rules. It is concluded that the construction of a bridge based on the user-paid model is an economic activity, which means, that public funding of the bridge is subject to EU state aid rules and therefore not allowed. In addition, it is concluded that construction of bridges based on the tax-financed- and user-financed models cannot be described as economic activity, but instead considered as exercise of public authority. This means that public funding of the bridges are not subject to EU state aid rules and therefore member states may use these models when funding bridges. Then, in the integrated analysis, it is examined, from an efficiency perspective at society level, whether – and if so, when – the construction of bridges should be subject to EU state aid rules. It is concluded that construction of bridges based on the user-paid model are not efficient from this perspective, which means, that it should be subject to the ban on state aid, in accordance with both the economic- and legal analysis. In addition, it is concluded that construction of bridges based on the tax-financed- and user-financed models are efficient from this perspective, which means that they should not be subject to the ban on state aid, which is also in accordance with both the economic- and legal analysis. In the end, the thesis’ conclusions are discussed and summarized, and it is found striking, that the economic theory of the firm, based on the neoclassical profit maximization assumption, has led to a result that is both in accordance with the legal analysis, and in the same time encourages the greatest efficiency at society level. Maybe the economic theory of the firm can help inspire the EU concept of the firm to secure a uniform, and efficient, understanding of the concept?

UddannelserCand.merc.jur Erhvervsøkonomi og Jura, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
SprogDansk
Udgivelsesdato2016
Antal sider86