Article 20 - Equality before the law
Article 21 - Non-discrimination
Key facts of the case:
The requesting party requested the annulment of a Ministerial Decree of 2 October 2014 regulating electricity produced by renewable sources of energy. Before the adoption of the Ministerial Decree, owners of small solar panel installations received a number of green certificates which they could sell for a fixed amount. The Ministerial Decree changes this to a variable amount. In its third plea, the requesting party alleged violation of Directive 2009/28/CE on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC combined with Articles 20 and 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Outcome of the case:
The Council of State rejected the third plea by considering that neither Directive 2009/28/CE nor articles 20 and 21 of the Charter prevent the Walloon Region from adopting such a Ministerial Decree.
Considering that no disposition prohibits that the supports and benefits given to producers of green electricity can be modified for the future; that the rules on equality before the law and non-discrimination included in Articles 20 and 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union do not prevent it. (VII.C.2)
Considérant qu’aucune de ces dispositions n’interdit que les soutiens et avantages accordés aux producteurs d’électricité verte soient modifiés pour l’avenir; que les règles de l’égalité devant la loi et de non-discrimination inscrites aux articles 20 et 21 de la Charte des droits fondamentaux de l’Union européenne n’y font pas davantage obstacle. (VII.C.2)