Appeal brought on 4 January 2017 by the Czech Republic against the judgment of the General Court (Fifth Chamber) delivered on 20 October 2016 in Case T-141/15 Czech Republic v Commission
(Case C-4/17 P)
Language of the case: Czech
Appellant: Czech Republic (represented by: M. Smolek, J. Vláčil and J. Pavliš, Agents)
Other party to the proceedings: European Commission
Appeal against the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 20 October 2016 in Case T-141/15 Czech Republic v Commission (‘the judgment under appeal’) in which the Czech Republic sought annulment of Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/103 1 of 16 January 2015 excluding from European Union financing certain expenditure incurred by the Member States under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (notified under document C(2015) 53) (‘the contested decision’), in so far as it excludes the expenditure incurred by the Czech Republic in the period from 2010 to 2012 coming to a total of EUR 2 123 199.04.
Form of order sought
The appellant claims that the Court should:
set aside the judgment under appeal,
annul the contested decision in so far as it excludes expenditure coming to a total of EUR 2 123 199.04 incurred by the Czech Republic, and
order the European Commission to pay the costs of the proceedings.
Grounds of appeal and main arguments
In support of its appeal in cassation, the appellant puts forward three grounds.
The first ground of appeal is based on the infringement of Article 11 of Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008 2 of 29 April 2008 on the common organisation of the market in wine (‘Regulation No 479/2008), in so far as the General Court is alleged to have erred in law in finding that Article 11 of that Regulation did not cover measures for protection of vine stocks against damage caused by animals and/or birds.
The second ground of appeal is based on the infringement of Article 5(2) of Regulation No 479/2008 and the principles of legal certainty and legitimate expectations. In the judgment under appeal, the General Court is alleged to have erred in law in finding that the European Commission may declare certain measures to be entirely ineligible for European Union financing and on those grounds exclude from financing all expenses incurred in connection with those measures, despite the fact that the European Commission itself examined the eligibility of those measures in assessing the draft support programme and did not put forward any objections.
The third ground of appeal is based on the infringement of Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in conjunction with Article 31 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 3 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy, and as appropriate with Article 52 of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 4 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and with Articles 11 and 16 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 885/2006 5 of 21 June 2006 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the accreditation of paying agencies and other bodies and the clearance of the accounts of the EAGF and of the EAFRD. The General Court is alleged to have erred in law in the judgment under appeal in finding that the European Commission could exclude from European Union financing expenses pertaining to a period with regard to which the Czech Republic was prevented from expressing its view under the procedure set out for financial corrections in connection with agriculture. ____________1
OJ 2015 L 16, p. 33.2
OJ 2008 L 148, p. 1.3
OJ 2005 L 209, p. 1. 4
OJ 2013 L 347, p. 549.5
OJ 2006 L 171, p. 90.