Open letter to designated Commissioner Timmermans

Dear Mr. Timmermans,

Congratulations with your proposed appointment as First Vice President of the new European Commission under President Jean Claude Juncker. Your new role seems to be challenging in the sense that you will have to actively steer the Commissioners in the realm of influence of your tasks: Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law & Charter of Fundamental Rights. I would say that you will become a very busy Commissioner, considering that your task in practice will affect all other portfolios of the European Commission.

One portfolio which will certainly be affected is Mr. Cañete’s, your Spanish colleague to whom Climate Action and Energy has been assigned. The government of which this gentleman formed part until recently has been botching the renewable energy sector in Spain and as a defender of this sector I discussed this with Mr. Oettinger when he was Energy Commissioner and former Commissioner Almunia of Competition. Together with my colleagues of the Platform for a New Energy Model we have expounded our views on the regulatory disaster in Spain on numerous occasions with DG Energy, DG Climate, DG Tax and other DG’s. We did this because we have filed a series of complaints to the European Commission concerning the very questionable legality of the regulatory changes in the Spanish electricity sector.

You may certainly want to collaborate with Alenka Bratušek of Energy Union to see to Mr. Cañete’s proper functioning, if he is approved by the European Parliament, of course. Not everybody is sure whether he will be able to convince the EP that he is not a sexist and that he considers climate change a problem that should be addressed by the energy sector.

A particularly important issue in the complaints we filed with the previous Commission is the violation of fundamental rights protected under EU Law and the Rule of Law. The main problem we encounter in our quest for legal remedies in Spain is the evasive attitude of the Spanish Supreme Court regarding its obligations under article 267 of the Treaty of Functioning of the European Union. We thus are blocked access to the competent court for interpreting the applicable concepts of EU Law in our defense. We do not need to Commission to solve our problems, we only need the Commission to assure the Rule of Law and proper access to the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg, through a vigorous compliance with the EU treaty by Spain.

I look forward to seeing you soon, we will contact your staff to set up a meeting with you after November 1st at earliest convenience. I am convinced that with your appointment the term Rule of Law will have the same value in all Member States.

Yours sincerely,

Piet Holtrop


PS: My apologies for not introducing myself: On behalf of the Platform for a New Energy Model I have signed 5 complaints prepared by a team of lawyers from HOLTROP SLP and with the support of members of the Fundación Renovables and APPA. Our firm represents more than 1500 individual and corporate Renewable Energy producers before the Spanish courts. The European Parliament has recently decided to admit our petition related to these complaints and will be closely monitoring the new Commission’s progress in these dossiers.