Ireland and the Apple Decision

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State aid, national tax policies and the future of European integration in digital markets: the 2016 'Apple' decision and beyond 

The Law & Technology research group at the School of Law at TCD will host a roundtable discussion on the future of national tax policies in the high-tech sector. 

The roundtable discussion will be targeted at the general public and aims at explaining, in simple terms, why the European Commission ended up issuing a 13-billion Euro decision against Ireland for illegal tax benefits granted to Apple since 1991. The decision, against which an appeal is pending, is of utmost importance since it comes at a time when European institutions seem to be willing to consider certain national tax privileges as State aid. Experts will debate on the possible impact of the Apple case on the Irish and European economy and on the strategies of US tech giants, also with regard to so-called patent or 'knowledge' boxes (i.e. taxation on profits coming from intellectual property rights and the like). 

The discussion will help understand whether the current race to the bottom among EU countries to grant the best tax law treatment to high-tech companies still has a foreseeable future in light of the European Commission's plan to harmonize national tax laws for the creation of a proper 'Digital Single Market'.  Representatives of European institutions and of the Irish government have been invited to contribute to the event. 

Chairman: Dr Giuseppe Mazziotti (TCD, School of Law, Law & Technology group)


  • Federica Iorio (College of Europe Alumni Association)
  • Emer Hunt (Assistant Professor, UCD, Sutherland School of Law)
  • Dr Diarmuid Rossa Phelan (TCD, School of Law)
  • Niall O’Hanlon, Barrister (Bar of Ireland) 
  • Elly Schlein, Member of the European Parliament, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 

Photo Credit: Alejandro Amador 

Paccar Theatre