Last update: May 10, 2020

Vent de Raison October 27, 2016 Wallonia

Important ruling from the European Court of Justice

On October 27, 2016, the European Court of Justice has issued a ruling whereby the Walloon government (Wallonia, Belgium) has acted unlawfully in creating a “norme sectorielle” aimed at considerably facilitating the deployment of wind farms in Wallonia without properly informing the general public and asking their opinion on the matter as required by the European directive 2001/48/CE.

This is a major success for those opposing onshore wind farms as the ECJ ruling is immediately applicable to all similar legislations in all the Member States. For additional information, please go to the ECJ website and look for case C-290/15 (d’Oultremont et al. vs Walloon Government).

Articles 2(a) and 3(2)(a) of Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment must be interpreted as meaning that a regulatory order, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, containing various provisions on the installation of wind turbines which must be complied with when administrative consent is granted for the installation and operation of such installations comes within the notion of ‘plans and programmes’, within the meaning of that directive.

Considering the importance of the ECJ ruling (note that the French and Dutch governments and the European Commission had joined the Walloon government against the plaintiff citizens), it might be appropriate that each of you communicates the information as widely as possible in your own country.


Patrice d’Oultremont
Vent de Raison (Wallonia, Belgium)