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Case 44/79, Liselotte Hauer v. Land Rheinland Pfalz , 1979 E.C.R. 3727, [1980] 3 C.M.L.R. 42 (1979)

Facts: a German winegrower had to apply for a state permit for planting new vines. While the application was pending, the European Commission issued an order prohibiting the planting of that type of vine for three years. The plaintiff brought her claim before the European Court of Justice.

Holding: the ECJ upheld the challenge to the Community regulation which prohibited the planting of new vines on certain lands against claims that the regulation violated the landowner's rights to property and to pursue a trade or profession guaranteed by the German Constitution. Accordingly, there was no violation of Hauer's property rights emphasizing in particular that the EEC order was to be valid only for a transitory period of three years.

Reasoning: it is necessary that the restrictions imposed by the regulation correspond to objectives of general interest pursued by the Community and that they do not constitute a disproportionate and intolerable interference with the property rights of the owner. The prohibition of the new planting of vines land down for a limited period of time by regulation no 1162/76 was justified by the objectives of general interest pursued by the Community, namely the reduction of production surpluses and the restructuring of the European wine industry. It did not therefore infringe the substance of the right to property.

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