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C 234/8 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25.7.

98

refund of money paid over, a situation in which the markets. In that regard, the capacity in which the
purchaser of a package holiday who has paid the travel Member State grants aid under Council Regulation
organiser for the costs of his accommodation before (EEC) No 1765/92 of 30 June 1992 establishing a
travelling on his holiday is compelled, following the travel support system for producers of certain arable crops,
organiser's insolvency, to pay the hotelier for his the fact that the rules of that Member State on set-off
accommodation again in order to be able to leave the require, for set-off to be available, reciprocity of debts
hotel and return home. as between debtor and creditor, the practice generally
followed by the Member State regarding set-off and
(1) OJ C 9 of 11.1.1997. the legal basis of the debt to the State involved in the
set-off are of no importance, provided that the
national authorities ensure that the effectiveness of
Community law is not in any way undermined and
that economic operators enjoy equal treatment. It is
for the national court to determine whether that is the
case.
JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
of 19 May 1998 2. On a proper construction of Article 15(3) of
Regulation No 1765/92, Member States are not
in Case C-132/95 (reference for a preliminary ruling from precluded from requiring a national intervention
the éstre Landsret): Bent Jensen and Korn- og agency to effect set-off with debts payable to the State
Foderstofkompagniet A/S v Landbrugsministeriet, EF- in the case of a beneficiary of compensatory payments.
Direktoratet (1)
(Community law Ð Principles Ð Set-off of amounts paid 3. On a proper construction of Article 10(1) of
under Community law against debts payable to a Member Regulation No 1765/92, payment of the compensatory
State Ð Common agricultural policy Ð Regulation (EEC) payments to which it refers may be deferred until it
No 1765/92 Ð Support system for producers of certain has been verified whether the State has any claim
arable crops) against the beneficiary thereof for which set-off may
(98/C 234/14) be available, provided that the payment is made no
later than 31 December in the year in question.

(Language of the case: Danish) (1) OJ C 189 of 22.7.1995.

(Provisional translation; the definitive translation will be
published in the European Court Reports)

In Case C-132/95: reference to the Court under Article 177 JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
of the EC Treaty from the éstre Landsret (Eastern of 19 May 1998
Regional Court) (Denmark), for a preliminary ruling in
the proceedings pending before that court between Bent in Case C-3/96: Commission of the European
Jensen and Korn- og Foderstofkompagniet A/S and Communities v Kingdom of the Netherlands, supported by
Landbrugsministeriet, EF-Direktoratet Ð on the the Federal Republic of Germany (1)
interpretation of Community law with regard to set-off (Conservation of wild birds Ð Special protection areas)
between amounts paid under Community law and debts
payable to a Member State and of Articles 10(1) and (98/C 234/15)
15(3) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1765/92 of 30 June
1992 establishing a support system for producers of (Language of the case: Dutch)
certain arable crops (OJ L 181 of 1.7.1992, p. 12) Ð the
Court, composed of: G. C. Rodríguez Iglesias, President,
C. Gulmann, M. Wathelet (Presidents of Chambers), (Provisional translation; the definitive translation will be
G. F. Mancini (Rapporteur), J. C. Moitinho de Almeida, published in the European Court Reports)
J. L. Murray, J.-P. Puissochet, G. Hirsch and L. Sevón,
Judges; N. Fennelly, Advocate General; H. von Holstein,
Deputy Registrar, for the Registrar, has given a judgment In Case C-3/96: Commission of the European
on 19 May 1998, in which it has ruled: Communities, represented by W. Wils, v Kingdom of the
Netherlands, represented by M. A. Fierstra and J. S. van
den Oosterkamp, supported by the Federal Republic of
1. Community law does not preclude a Member State Germany, represented by E. Röder and S. Maaû Ð
from effecting set-off between an amount due to a application for a declaration that, by failing sufficiently to
beneficiary of aid payable under Community designate special protection areas within the meaning of
legislation and an outstanding debt to that Member Article 4(1) of Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April
State. The position would be different only if that 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (OJ L 103 of
practice were to interfere with the proper functioning 25.4.1979, p. 1), the Kingdom of the Netherlands has
of the common organisation of the agricultural failed to comply with its obligations under that directive