CJEU - C 93 /12 / Opinion ET Agrokonsulting-04-Velko Stoyanov v Izpalnitelen direktor na Darzhaven fond ‘Zemedelie’ – Razplashtatelna agentsia

Key facts of the case:
  1. For the first time, the Court is required to give a ruling on whether the principles of effectiveness and equivalence, and also the first paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) preclude a rule of national procedure which has the consequence of concentrating before a single court disputes concerning decisions of the national authority responsible for paying agricultural aid under the common agricultural policy (‘the CAP’).
  2. The Administrativen sad (Administrative Court) Sofia-grad (Bulgaria) considers that such specialisation in the context of those disputes could discourage, or even prevent, the individuals concerned, namely farmers, from having access to a court, which would constitute a violation of their right to an effective remedy.
  3. In this opinion I shall set out the reasons why I consider that the first paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter must be interpreted as not precluding a rule of national procedure, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which has the effect of concentrating before the Administrativen sad Sofia-grad disputes concerning decisions of the national authority responsible for paying agricultural aid under the CAP, provided that that rule does not unreasonably impede the access of individuals to that court, which must be ascertained by the national court. 
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
 
In the light of the foregoing, I propose that the Court should give the following reply to the Administrativen sad Sofia-grad (Bulgaria):
 
The first paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as meaning that it does not preclude a rule of national procedure, such as that in Article 133(1) of the Code of Administrative Procedure, which has the effect of concentrating before the Administrativen sad Sofia-grad disputes concerning decisions of the national authority responsible for paying agricultural aid under the common agricultural policy, provided that the rule in question does not excessively impede the access of individuals to that court, which is a matter to be determined by the national court.
Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 

 

17-24, 33, 40-49