Minister Donohoe notes EU Commission’s decision to appeal Apple State aid case to the Court of Justice of the EU

25th September, 2020

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) notes the European Commission’s decision to lodge an appeal with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) challenging the judgement of the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) in the Apple State aid case.

The facts of the case, as established by the GCEU, demonstrate, as Ireland has always contended, that no State aid was given and that the Irish branches of the relevant Apple companies paid the full amount of tax due in accordance with the law. An appeal to the CJEU must be on a point, or points, of law. This appeal process could take up to two years to complete.

Ireland has always been clear that the correct amount of Irish tax was paid and that Ireland provided no State aid to Apple. Ireland appealed the Commission Decision on that basis and the judgement from the General Court of the European Union vindicates this stance.

The funds in Escrow will only be released when there has been a final determination in the European Courts on the validity of the Commission’s Decision.

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D., stated that, “I note the decision of the European Commission to lodge an appeal to the CJEU. Ireland has not yet been served with formal notice of the appeal. When it is received, the Government will need to take some time to consider, in detail, the legal grounds set out in the appeal and to consult with the Government’s legal advisors, in responding to this appeal.” 


Note to editors: 

  1. In 2016, following a three-year investigation, the European Commission alleged that Ireland had provided State aid to two Apple companies. Ireland appealed this decision in late 2016 and there was an oral hearing before the General Court in September 2019.
  2. The General Court of the European Union issued its judgement in the Apple State Aid case on 15 July 2020 annulling the European Commission Decision. 
  3. The European Commission has lodged an appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). A summary of the appeal will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and the appeal will be served on Ireland and on all parties to the proceedings before the General Court. All parties to the case before the General Court will have 2 months and 10 days to lodge a Response to the Appeal and may also lodge a cross-appeal within this time period.  
  4. The Escrow Fund will remain in place until all European legal proceedings are completed. The net asset value of the Fund at the end of 2019 was €14,020 billion.