Spain now sued before the European Court of Human Rights for lack of effective remedies

We presented an application before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last Friday, after having exhausted all internal remedies in the proceedings against the provisional settlements of renewable energy (Photovoltaic PV) of 2011, the first year of application of the retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs contained in Royal Decree Law 14/2010.

In our complaint we ask the Court to declare the infringement by Spain of article 6.1 and 13 of the European Convention of Human Rights due to the impossibility of an access to justice in a reasonable term and, consequently, for denying any effective remedy to renewable energy producers affected by abovementioned retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs. In particular we denounce that Spanish Courts have made a far too strict interpretation of the requisites an administrative act should comply with in order to be considered definitive and thus open to appeal according to Spanish law. By doing so they condemned tens of thousands of citizens affected by a retroactive cutback contrary to European Union Law to wait more than three years before getting material access to the competent court.

Moreover we requested the ECHR to state that the regulation on the access criteria to the Spanish Constitutional Court (CC) is not consistent with the same articles of the Convention. Based on this legal void the CC rejected our appeal in arbitrarily November.

This step is only the last one of a long litigation we are involved in against the unceasing activity of retroactive cutbacks of a government which is using a salami-tactic in order to dismantle systematically the countries’ renewable energy sector.

June and July have been very busy months at our firm. We presented an appeal representing APPA, the umbrella corporation of all renewable energy sources in Spain against the Ministerial Order 221/2013 which implements RDL 2/2013. 

Also we travelled to Strasbourg and met EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger together with the Platform for a New Energy Model to give him 180.000 signatures of citizens asking for a cost audit of the electricity sector in Spain.

After that we have been in Brussels once again with the Platform and ANPIER as we discussed the last reform, approved by RDL a few days before, with a legal team of the European Commission (Mr. Oettinger’s legal cell).

Finally last week, following an article published on Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, Marije Cornelissen, a dutch MEP, visited us at our office in Barcelona to return home very concerned about the situation of PV in Spain and in Europe.

At the moment we are working full time on an analysis of the Royal Decrees implementing the new electricity reform contained in RDL 9/2013 and we will publish about that on our blog as soon as possible. One thing which is for sure is that we will be litigating collectively against this new reform on behalf of our group of over 1200 PV energy producers in Spain.