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Document 62017CN0580

Case C-580/17: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Riigikohus (Estonia) lodged on 4 October 2017 — Mittetulundusühing Järvelaev v Põllumajanduse Registrite ja Informatsiooni Amet (PRIA)

OJ C 412, 4.12.2017, p. 19–20 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

201711170201555732017/C 412/295802017CJC41220171204EN01ENINFO_JUDICIAL20171004192021

Case C-580/17: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Riigikohus (Estonia) lodged on 4 October 2017 — Mittetulundusühing Järvelaev v Põllumajanduse Registrite ja Informatsiooni Amet (PRIA)

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C4122017EN1910120171004EN0029191202

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Riigikohus (Estonia) lodged on 4 October 2017 — Mittetulundusühing Järvelaev v Põllumajanduse Registrite ja Informatsiooni Amet (PRIA)

(Case C-580/17)

2017/C 412/29Language of the case: Estonian

Referring court

Riigikohus

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Mittetulundusühing Järvelaev

Defendant: Põllumajanduse Registrite ja Informatsiooni Amet (PRIA)

Questions referred

1.

In the event of the recovery of project funding awarded as part of a Leader measure, if the funding was approved on 6 September 2011, the final instalment was paid on 19 November 2013, the infringement was established on 4 December 2014 and the recovery decision was issued on 27 January 2015, must Article 72 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 ( 1 ) or Article 71(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 ( 2 ) of the European Parliament and of the Council be applied in relation to the requirement concerning the durability of the project? In those circumstances, does Article 33(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 ( 3 ) or Article 56 of Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 ( 4 ) of the European Parliament and of the Council form the basis for the recovery?

2.

If the answer to Question 1 is that Regulation No 1698/2005 is applicable, must the leasing of an asset (a sailing boat) acquired by means of project funding granted as part of a Leader measure by the not-for-profit association which received the funding to another not-for-profit association which uses the sailing boat for the same operation for which the funding was granted to the beneficiary be regarded as a substantial modification within the meaning of Article 72(1)(a) of Regulation No 1698/2005, which affects the nature or implementation conditions of the operation or gives undue advantage to a firm? Must the payment body of a Member State determine what the advantage specifically is in order for the condition relating to undue advantage to be satisfied? If the answer is in the affirmative, can the undue advantage lie in the fact that the actual user of the asset would not have obtained the project funding if it had itself submitted an application with the same content?

2a.

If the answer to Question 1 is that Regulation No 1303/2013 is applicable, must the leasing of an asset (a sailing boat) acquired by means of project funding granted as part of a Leader measure by the not-for-profit association which received the funding to another not-for-profit association which uses the sailing boat in the same manner for which the funding was granted to the beneficiary be regarded as a substantial change within the meaning of Article 71(1)(c) of Regulation No 1303/2013, which affects its nature, objectives or implementation conditions in a manner which would result in undermining its original objectives?

3.

If the answer to Question 1 is that Regulation No 1698/2005 is applicable, must the leasing of an asset (a sailing boat) acquired by means of project funding granted as part of a Leader measure by the beneficiary to another not-for-profit association which uses the sailing boat for the same operation for which the funding was granted to the beneficiary be regarded as a substantial modification within the meaning of Article 72(1)(b) of Regulation No 1698/2005, which results either from a change in the nature of ownership of an item of infrastructure, or the cessation or relocation of a productive activity, having regard to the fact that the ownership of the sailing boat has remained unchanged but the beneficiary is now the indirect, rather than the direct, possessor of that sailing boat and obtains rental income rather than income derived from the provision of the service described in the application?

3a.

If the answer to Question 1 is that Regulation No 1303/2013 is applicable, must the leasing of an asset (a sailing boat) acquired by means of project funding granted as part of a Leader measure by the not-for-profit association which received the funding to another not-for-profit association which uses the sailing boat for the same operation for which the funding was granted to the beneficiary be regarded as a change in ownership of an item of infrastructure which gives to a firm an undue advantage within the meaning of Article 71(1)(b) of Regulation No 1303/2013, having regard to the fact that the ownership of the sailing boat has remained unchanged but the beneficiary is now the indirect, rather than the direct, possessor of that sailing boat and obtains rental income rather than income derived from the provision of the service described in the application? Must the payment body of a Member State determine what the advantage specifically is in order for the requirement relating to undue advantage to be satisfied? If the answer is in the affirmative, can the undue advantage lie in the fact that the actual user of the asset would not have obtained the project funding if it had itself submitted an application with the same content?

4.

May a national decree governing a Leader measure impose on the beneficiary the obligation to retain the asset for five years with stricter requirements than those laid down in Article 72(1) of Regulation No 1698/2005 or in Article 71(1) of Regulation No 1303/2013?

5.

If the answer to Question 4 is in the negative, are the provision of a national decree under which the beneficiary of project funding is obliged to retain and use for its intended purpose the asset acquired by means of the project funding for at least five years following the payment of the last instalment of the funding, and the interpretation of that provision as meaning that the beneficiary must use that asset personally, consistent with Article 72(1) of Regulation No 1698/2005 and/or Article 71(1) of Regulation No 1303/2013?

6.

Must it be regarded as an irregularity within the meaning of Article 33(1) of Regulation No 1290/2005 and/or Article 56 of Regulation No 1306/2013 if the beneficiary has not carried out an operation which, under a national decree governing a Leader measure, was not obligatory but to which the beneficiary had referred in the ‘Summary of the objectives and activities of the operation and the investment’ set out in its funding application and which was one of the criteria on the basis of which the applications were assessed for the purpose of ranking them?

7.

If the answer to Question 6 is in the affirmative, is the recovery rendered unlawful by the fact that it is sought before the expiry of the period of five years from the time of the final payment and the beneficiary remedies the infringement in the course of the judicial proceedings concerning recovery?


( 1 ) Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (OJ 2005 L 277, p. 1).

( 2 ) Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (OJ 2013 L 347, p. 320).

( 3 ) Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy (OJ 2005 L 209, p. 1).

( 4 ) Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 352/78, (EC) No 165/94, (EC) No 2799/98, (EC) No 814/2000, (EC) No 1290/2005 and (EC) No 485/2008 (OJ 2013 L 347, p. 549).

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