In this case, a regional decree taken by the Flemish region in order to reinforce the protection of the environment against fertilizers’ pollution is challenged by two local associations. The contested decree extends the areas where the use of fertilizers is strictly regulated if not completely forbidden.
The plaintiffs argued that the creation of those new areas where the use of fertilizer is strictly limited is disproportionate and not reasonable with regards to the objectives. As a result, they considered that the decree create a discriminatory situation which is contrary to the Article 10 and 11 of the Constitution and to the Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights. For them, the discrimination can be found in the geographic delimitation of the areas where fertilizers are forbidden and in the fact that small cattle farmers are granted an exemption allowing them to continue using fertilizers.
The Arbitrary Court dismissed the appeal and considered that the criteria used by the decree to establish its scopes were reasonable, objective, based on scientific evidences, and therefore could not be considered to result in any form of discrimination.