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Lithuania / Supreme Administrative Court / A-291-492/2016

A.N. v The National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture

Policy area:
Agriculture
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
10/02/2016

Key facts of the case:

The Applicant A.N. submitted an application to the National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture (Nacionalinė mokėjimo agentūra prie Žemės ūkio ministerijos) aiming to receive direct payments and aid for the utilised agricultural area and crops (applicant declared 11.25 ha, for which she received aid-payments). However, almost after a year the National Paying Agency declared that the applicant requested payments for 0.32 ha area unsuitable for the aid, therefore, the applicant had to return a part of the received payments (LTL 216,55 (~€62). The first instance court declared the decision of the Agency unlawful and unfounded and quashed it. The National Paying Agency submitted an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania (Lietuvos vyriausiasis administracinis teismas). The Court decided that the National Paying Agency had not provided precise and reliable material, which would prove that utilised agricultural area was unsuitable for the aid and direct payments. Moreover, it was noted that the applicant was not informed about the data of repetitive inspection, therefore she could not submit explanations or evidence, which could deny the results of the inspection. 

Outcome of the case: 

The Court rejected the appeal of the National Paying Agency and declared that the right to be heard should be applied not only in cases, when an individual faces penalties, but also in cases, when a decision affecting his/her interests negatively might be taken.