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CJEU Case C-235/17/ Judgment

European Commission v Hungary

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Grand Chamber
Decision date:
21/05/2019

Key facts

By its application, the European Commission requests the Court to declare that, having regard in particular to the provisions in force since 1 January 2013 of termőföldről szóló 1994. évi LV. törvény (Law No LV of 1994 on productive land; ‘the 1994 Law on productive land’), the relevant provisions of mező- és erdőgazdasági földek forgalmáról szóló 2013. évi CXXII. törvény (Law No CXXII of 2013 on transactions in agricultural and forestry land; ‘the 2013 Law on agricultural land’), certain provisions of mező- és erdőgazdasági földek forgalmáról szóló 2013. évi CXXII. törvénnyel összefüggő egyes rendelkezésekről és átmeneti szabályokról szóló 2013. évi CCXII. törvény (Law No CCXII of 2013 laying down various provisions and transitional measures concerning Law No CXXII of 2013 on transactions in agricultural and forestry land; ‘the 2013 Law on transitional measures’) and Paragraph 94(5) of ingatlan-nyilvántartásról szóló 1997. évi CXLI. törvény (Law No CXLI of 1997 on the land register; ‘the Law on the land register’), Hungary, by restricting in a manifestly disproportionate manner the rights of usufruct over agricultural and forestry land, has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 49 and 63 TFEU and Article 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).

Judgement

On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby:

  1. Declares that, by adopting Paragraph 108(1) of mező- és erdőgazdasági földek forgalmáról szóló 2013. évi CXXII. törvénnyel összefüggő egyes rendelkezésekről és átmeneti szabályokról szóló 2013. évi CCXII. törvény (Law No CCXII of 2013 laying down various provisions and transitional measures concerning Law No CXXII of 2013 on transactions in agricultural and forestry land) and thereby cancelling, by operation of law, the rights of usufruct over agricultural and forestry land located in Hungary that are held, directly or indirectly, by nationals of other Member States, Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 63 TFEU in conjunction with Article 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
  2. Orders Hungary to pay the costs.