European rural development policy: the determining criterion for enabling a young farmer to access business start-up aid is the standard gross output of the entire agricultural holding, and not simply his or her share in that holding

(Source: Court of Justice of the EU)

National legislation which lays down different conditions of access to start-up aid, depending on
whether the young farmer sets up with other young farmers or with other farmers not belonging to
that category, does not amount to discrimination

EU law lays down the general rules governing EU support for rural development financed by the
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and supplements the common
provisions on the European Structural and Investment Funds. In that context, Member State
establish and apply specific conditions for access to support for young farmers where they are not
setting up as a sole head of the holding.

In order to continue the family farm business, a young farmer, CJ, who is set up in Belgium, took
over a third of his parents’ farm. CJ farms as part of a de facto association with his father, who also
owns a third of the holding, with the last third belonging to CJ’s mother. CJ therefore filed a
application with the Région wallonne (Walloon Region) for start-up aid, which was refused on the
ground that the standard gross output (‘the SGO’) value of the holding taken over exceeded the
upper threshold laid down by regional legislation, fixed at € 1 000 000.

Full Press Release – 121/2021 : 8 July 2021 – Judgment of the Court of Justice in Case C-830/19

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