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29/06/2012 - Europe promises protection

The European  Parliament will do all it can to protect the rights of property owners in Spain and the country’s fragile environment, President Martin Schulz has vowed.
He said the parliament “has been and remains most vigilant” regarding the abuse of citizens’ rights – sending fact-finding delegations to Spain and approving hard-hitting reports critical of the mistreatment of residents under controversial legislation.

Mr Schulz was replying to a letter from pressure group Abusos Urbanisticos NO and national federation FAUN’s president Enrique Climent calling for the EU’s Charter of Fundamental  Rights to be upheld.
He wrote: “I am indeed well aware of your concerns ad your important role regarding the rights of property holders and the need to protect and preserve one of Europe’s most fragile eco-systems.
“I believe that Parliament has been and remains most vigilant in respect to these issues as witnessed by the approval of the reports which you mention and the ongoing activity of the Committee on Petitions, which regularly meets with people directly affected by such problems.”

Mr Schulz said the AUN letter had been forwarded to the committee to make it aware of the group’s position and its support for committee members.
“Legal certainty in the property market is fundamental if the sector itself is to have a chance of recovering from many years of unbridled development,” he added.

And he said the Charter itself was vitally important to the future of Europe itself. “It forms the basis on which all activities of the European Parliament are conducted. It reinforces the system of values on which the European Union itself is founded and therefore the more European citizens themselves base their actions upon its premises, the more hope there is for our common future.”

Mr Schulz thanked the group for bringing concerns about ongoing breaches of the Charter to his attention. “Please assure your members of the resolve of the European Parliament to promote and do all it can to protect the rights of all Europe’s citizens and residents.”

Charles Svoboda, the AUN’s Vice-President, was pleased with the “good response” from Mr Schulz but said the Charter of Fundamental Rights would carry “more real force” is it could be applied in more practical ways “at a level where it could truly affect the lives of EU citizens”.

He said the charter was EU law and incorporated into Spanish law – yet the European Commission held the narrow view it only related to matters regarding the implementation of EU laws.
“That restrictive interpretation means in effect that the European Court of Justice is out of reach when it comes to the violations, for example, of the property rights provisions of the Charter,” he said.

“The option then is, only after ALL legal remedies in the country are exhausted, to attempt to get the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to take a relevant view, a process that in total is far beyond the capacity of many victims of property rights abuses here to endure.
“That interpretation may suit some EU citizens in other union countries but given the uncertainties of the legal system in Spain, the situation remains clearly unsatisfactory.”


Source Round town news