My research focuses on the EU’s State aid rules, and more specifically on how Member States can distort the internal market by using their tax systems to grant companies an undue advantage, e.g. via tax exemptions and tax rulings. The latter form of alleged 'fiscal State aid' recently acquired international fame when the European Commission ordered Ireland to recover a record amount of 13 billion euros (plus interest) from Apple. Such State practices have also been said to amount to harmful tax competition between Member States, in the context of which governments seek to attract multinational companies from other Member States by using greatly beneficial tax regimes, a conduct that violates unanimously adopted EU soft law. My work thus focuses on the topical yet surreptitious relationship between prohibited fiscal State aid and harmful tax competition.
The reasons why I chose to pursue a DPhil in Oxford are numerous. Having already completed the MJur and MPhil degrees, I was already fascinated by the extraordinary level of the Law Faculty members and was keen to continue participating in the lively community of like-minded students and scholars. Moreover, the early teaching opportunities provided by Oxford’s Colleges were a key consideration, since they provide invaluable experience to every aspiring academic, while the interesting activities of our various discussion groups motivated me to become a Convenor of Oxford’s EU Law Discussion Group, thus getting to meet countless prominent legal scholars, judges and practitioners. Finally, on a more personal note, it is difficult for any student who has worked in one of Oxford’s awe-inspiring libraries, which carry the centuries-old aura of intellectual labour, to concentrate anywhere else (even at home).