Official Journal of the European Union

C 285/48

Action brought on 1 September 2008 — Hellenic Republic v Commission of the European Communities

(Case T-356/08)

(2008/C 285/88)

Language of the case: Greek


Applicant: Hellenic Republic (represented by: K. Khalkias and E. Leftheriotou)

Defendant: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought

uphold the Hellenic Republic's action and annul the contested Commission decision in its entirety or otherwise alter it in accordance with the matters that have been more specifically set out, ordering that no correction be made with regard to arable crops for the crop years 2004 and 2005 or, in any event, that the correction be restricted to 5 % and only to expenditure in respect of durum wheat;

deduct the sum of EUR 609 833,96 from the correction imposed of EUR 127 714 520,73 and from any correction that may be imposed after the bringing of the present action;

order the Commission to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In this action for annulment of Commission Decision C(2008) 3411 of 8 July 2008, published under No 2008/582/EC, which excludes expenditure amounting to EUR 127 714 520,73 incurred by the Hellenic Republic from Community financing, in the context of the clearing of the accounts of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the applicant puts forward the following pleas in support of the claim for annulment.

By the first plea for annulment, which concerns the correction applicable to durum wheat crops and to matters other than durum wheat, it is submitted that the Commission misinterpreted and misapplied Article 4 of Regulation (EEC) No 3508/92 (1), Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1593/2000 (2), Article 58 of Regulation (EC) No 445/2002 (3) and Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 (4) since it is permissible, on the basis of the provisions in question, to identify land using alternative cartographic material that is equivalent to orthophoto maps, or otherwise that the Commission erred in its assessment of the facts and stated inadequate reasons for the corrections. The applicant also pleads a lack of legal basis for imposing the correction since the Commission misinterpreted the facts and exceeded the limits of its discretion, so far as concerns its determination that the on-site checks were not carried out in time.

In the second plea for annulment, the applicant alleges a lack of lawful basis and of a sufficient statement of reasons, with regard to the alleged repetition of breaches and infringement of the principles of proportionality and of the protection of legitimate expectations, because, according to the applicant, the Commission had been informed of the court proceedings that were delaying the completion of the system of control and, on its recommendation and in cooperation with it, the applicant engaged in an action plan for that purpose.

(1)  Council Regulation (EEC) No 3508/92 of 27 November 1992 establishing an integrated administration and control system for certain Community aid schemes (OJ 1992 L 355, p. 1).

(2)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1593/2000 of 17 July 2000 amending Regulation (EEC) No 3508/92 establishing an integrated administration and control system for certain Community aid schemes (OJ 2000 L 182, p. 4).

(3)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 445/2002 of 26 February 2002 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/1999 on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) (OJ 2002 L 74, p. 1).

(4)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 of 29 September 2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers and amending Regulations (EEC) No 2019/93, (EC) No 1452/2001, (EC) No 1453/2001, (EC) No 1454/2001, (EC) 1868/94, (EC) No 1251/1999, (EC) No 1254/1999, (EC) No 1673/2000, (EEC) No 2358/71 and (EC) No 2529/2001 (OJ 2003 L 270, p. 1).