Holtrop S.L.P. blog

The Platform for a New Energy Model thinks that there are reasons for hope after the last steps achieved before the European Union

On 14th June 2013 the Platform for a New Energy Model received, at the office of its pro bono law firm HOLTROP S.L.P., a notification from the Energy DG of the European Commission in relation to its complaints numbered CHAP(2013)00737, CHAP (2013)01105 and CHAP(2013)01125, whereby it was stated that the complaints require further examination by the legal services of the European Commission before deciding whether Spain may have breached EU law. The three complaints presented under the Platform’s name are directed against Spanish electric and procedural legislation, which might be contrary to EU law.

These complaints were also referred to at the letter given by a delegation of representatives of the Platform for a New Energy Model to Commissioner Oettinger, during a meeting that took place on Tuesday 11th June in Strasbourg. The meeting was intended at handing over to Mr. Oettinger more than 183.000 signatures collected by the Platform asking for a costs audit of the Spanish electric system.

The Platform also used the meeting with the Commissioner to let him know about its deep concern in relation to the cutbacks to renewable energies that have been approved and the ones that will probably be adopted in the weeks to come. Piet Holtrop informed the Commissioner that such retroactive cuts could be contrary to European Law, both to material norms, such as the Renewables Directive or the Energy Efficiency Directive, and to basic principle of European Law, like the no discrimination or the legal certainty principles. In that sense, the Spanish double obligation with regards to EU law was emphasized: on the one hand, the environmental objectives of European policy shall be respected and, on the other, EU law as a whole needs to be observed. The Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, ensures that Member States do not violate the rights conferred by EU law upon its citizens. 

Answering to the Platform’s complaints, Commissioner Oettinger invited the lawyers of the Platform to participate at an in-depth examination with the legal services of the European Commission in the next three weeks in order to determine whether infringement proceedings against Spain are started. 

You can read the letter referred to in this press release here: 

Letter DG Energy June 14th 2013