|Van: Hendrik Viaene [mailto:Hendrik.Viaene@Stibbe.com]
Verzonden: maandag 31 januari 2011 14:47
Onderwerp: PN 254/2009 - Now N308/2010 [IWOV-MATTERS.FID163554]
Dear Members of the case team,
We refer to our submissions of 8 December 2009, 1 September 2010 and 8 November 2010 in relation to the notification by the Dutch authorities of a subsidy scheme for the acquisition of land (N308/2010), as well as our phone conversations of 8 October and 12 November 2010 with Ms. Schade. From our latest phone call, we gathered that a Commission decision could be expected on relatively short notice.
As you are undoubtedly aware, however, there has been a change of cabinet in the Netherlands in the meantime, and the new Secretary for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Mr. Bleker, has announced substantial budgetary savings, affecting a.o. the Dutch nature conservation policy as well as the realization of the 'Ecologische Hoofdstructuur' (National Ecological Network). By way of illustration, we refer to a letter sent by Secretary Bleker to the Dutch Parliament, as well as a letter sent out to the different Provinces, cautioning them to stop subsidies and other expenses in this domain.
In light of the above and seeing as our client VGG has received no further feedback from the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, there is some uncertainty on the part of the VGG as to whether the Dutch authorities intend to press on the notification of the new subsidy scheme or to withdraw it altogether.
We recall in this context that, at the insistence of the Commission, the VGG has agreed to withdraw its request to take a formal position on complaint CP381/2008, dealing with the existing subsidy scheme. Nonetheless, seeing as different Provinces continue to hand out subsidies on the basis of the old subsidy scheme, and pursuant to the reigning uncertainty regarding the notified draft subsidy regulation, we wish to inform you that our client is considering to 're-activate' the pending complaint. We would therefore much appreciate any information you could spare in relation to the current stage and future timing of the Commission's investigation in case N308/2010.
We remain of course at your fullest disposal should you have any further queries.
Hendrik Viaene *
T +32 2 533 54 21
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