Communication: judgment No. 0116 of 2020

IDENTIFIER
62020CA0116
LANGUAGE
English
COURT
Court of Justice of the European Union
AG OPINION
NO
REFERENCES MADE
5
REFERENCED
1
DOCUMENT TYPE
Communication: judgment

Judgment



30.5.2022   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 213/2


Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 7 April 2022 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Curtea de Apel Timişoara — Romania) — SC Avio Lucos SRL v Agenţia de Plăţi şi Intervenţie pentru Agricultură — Centrul judeţean Dolj, Agenţia de Plăţi şi Intervenţie pentru Agricultură (APIA) — Aparat Central

(Case C-116/20) (1)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Agriculture - Common agricultural policy - Direct support schemes - Common rules - Single area payment scheme - Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 - Article 2(c) - Concept of ‘agricultural activity’ - Article 35 - Regulation (EC) No 1122/2009 - National legislation requiring the production of a legal document establishing the right to use the agricultural parcel made available to the farmer under a concession contract and making the validity of such a contract conditional on the future concessionaire having the status of breeder or owner of animals - Concessionaire of an area of pastureland who has concluded a cooperation contract with animal breeders - Res judicata)

(2022/C 213/02)

Language of the case: Romanian

Referring court

Curtea de Apel Timişoara

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: SC Avio Lucos SRL

Defendants: Agenţia de Plăţi şi Intervenţie pentru Agricultură — Centrul judeţean Dolj, Agenţia de Plăţi şi Intervenţie pentru Agricultură (APIA) — Aparat Central

Operative part of the judgment

1.

Council Regulation (EC) No 73/2009 of 19 January 2009 establishing common rules for direct support schemes for farmers under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1290/2005, (EC) No 247/2006, (EC) No 378/2007 and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003, as amended by Regulation (EU) No 1310/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013, and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1122/2009 of 30 November 2009 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation No 73/2009 as regards cross-compliance, modulation and the integrated administration and control system, under the direct support schemes for farmers provided for [by] that Regulation, as well as for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards cross-compliance under the support scheme provided for the wine sector, must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation which makes the grant of support under the single area payment scheme subject to an obligation on the applicant to prove that he has a ‘right to use’ the agricultural area covered by that application, provided that it is consistent with the objectives pursued by the EU legislation concerned, as well as with the general principles of EU law, in particular the principle of proportionality.

2.

Regulation No 73/2009, as amended by Regulation No 1310/2013, and Regulation No 1122/2009 must be interpreted as not precluding, in the specific case in which the right to use an agricultural area has been justified by the beneficiary of support under the single area payment scheme through the submission of a concession contract in respect of pastureland in the public domain of a regional administrative authority, national legislation which makes the validity of such a contract conditional on the future concessionaire having the status of breeder or owner of animals.

3.

Article 2(c) of Regulation No 73/2009, as amended by Regulation No 1310/2013, must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of ‘agricultural activity’ covers an activity by which a person takes pastureland on concession and subsequently concludes a cooperation contract with animal breeders, under which those breeders graze their animals on the land granted on concession, and the concessionaire retains the right to use the land, but undertakes not to restrict the grazing activity and takes responsibility for the maintenance of the pastureland, provided that such maintenance meets the conditions laid down by the optional standard referred to in Annex III to that regulation.

4.

EU law must be interpreted as precluding the application, in the legal order of a Member State, of the principle of res judicata which, in a dispute between the same parties concerning the lawfulness of a measure for recovery of the sums paid to an applicant for support under a single area payment scheme, prevents the court hearing the case from examining the conformity with EU law of national requirements relating to the lawfulness of the right to use the agricultural area covered by the aid application, on the ground that that recovery measure is based on the same facts between the same parties and on the same national legislation as those analysed in a previous judicial decision which has become final.


(1)  OJ C 279, 24.8.2020.



Citations

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