Bulgarian President Rumen Radev challenges renewable energy regulations on arable land in Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria has initiated a case in response to President Rumen Radev’s request, wherein he seeks a declaration of the unconstitutionality of the amendments made to the Agricultural Land Conservation Act. The President objects to the new regulations regarding the installation of renewable energy facilities on arable land.

The essence of this request is to ascertain the unconstitutionality of certain provisions within the law. These include Article 2, paragraph 4, specifically the portion concerning “agrophotovoltaics – under the conditions and in the order determined by a regulation of the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works.” Additionally, the challenge extends to Article 17a, paragraph 3, specifically concerning “sites for the production of energy from renewable sources,” as well as Art. 23, par. 3, and Art. 24, para. 7, which involve “construction of a site for the production of energy from renewable sources” within the Law on the Conservation of Agricultural Land (SG 35 of 24 April 1996; as amended and supplemented by SG 86 of 13 October 2023).

The President has brought the new regulations regarding the construction of renewable energy installations on arable land before the Constitutional Court for review.

These alterations to the Agricultural Land Conservation Act were introduced as part of the changes to the Renewable Energy Act, which is a component of the legislative measures outlined in the Recovery and Resilience Plan. The promulgation of the Renewable Energy Act occurred in the State Gazette just last week.

The President argues that these changes are in conflict with Article 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, which asserts that land is the nation’s primary asset, and arable land should be utilized solely for agricultural purposes.

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