Cancelled, without ifs and buts. The acts of the Draghi government, which had authorized manu militari a devastating wind farm on the horizon of the Basilica of Saccargia, between Nulvi and Ploaghe, collapsed like skittles as a sentence from the Sardinia Tar destined to become exemplary in environmental and landscape law . Draghi and Cingolani rejected without appeal, accepted the appeal of the Sardinian Region with which the Regional Attorney led by Mattia Pani, with the lawyers Andrea Secchi and Giovanni Parisi, dismantled the "commissarial" acts of the Government that ended up in the attic two months ago. For the Sardinian Region it is not just a judicial victory.

Ambush the "Specialty"

In the clash with the actions of the most centralist government ever in terms of energy, a clear violation of the constitutional provisions and of Sardinia's "special" statutory powers in the field of energy and landscape protection emerges with force. The Judges of the Regional Administrative Court, Marco Lensi, President, Antonio Plaisant, Judge Adviser and Gabriele Serra Judge Draftsman, showed, in the sentence published yesterday at the end of the morning, an uncommon authority given the grandeur of the counterpart of the Region, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. A decision which, as the Judges themselves point out, addresses an unprecedented issue in the State-Region relationship, establishing a limit to the boundless powers of the Council of Ministers.


It is precisely this authority of the Sardinian administrative judges that makes the difference precisely because the final judgment enters into the merits of the procedures, precisely defining their boundaries, and of the same substance as the provision. A sentence of over 30 pages, all punctuated by a surgical analysis with arguments that clearly aim to establish for the first time in terms of landscape law in Sardinia some fixed points, indicating the restricted limits of maneuver of the Government on the regional territory of the Island .

Government boundaries

The judges recognize and reaffirm the power of the Council of Ministers to be able to settle differences between ministries on the subject of wind energy, but they go further. A power of synthesis and decision-making unity of the Government which, according to the togates of Piazza del Carmine, headquarters of the Sardinia TAR, Draghi and company could exercise even in the presence of two sentences contrary to that project, the first of the Sardinia TAR itself and the second confirmatory of the State Council. Having said this, however, it is on the merits that Palazzo Chigi receives the strictest judicial rejection.

The crash of Cingolani

The Ministers could decide, but they had no right to do so without presuppositions, without analysis, totally ignoring the contents of the two sentences which had definitively shelved the wind invasion of the Erg in the promontories of Ploaghe and Nulvi, devastating the environmental, archaeological and landscape proscenium. It is precisely that shameless violation of the decisions of the judges of first and second instance which constitutes the cornerstone of the sentence. The background that led to the Region's decision to challenge that government decree had seen the protagonist the most bitter supporter of the wind invasion of Sardinia, that Roberto Cingolani, Minister of Ecological Transition in the Draghi government. Regardless of the trenchant decisions of the two levels of administrative judgement, he had had the audacity to ask and obtain from the Prime Minister, the approval of the Council of Ministers of the project of the Erg oilmen, who over time transformed themselves into assiduous "recipients" with both hands of the Sardinian wind. In practice, according to the "minister of the wind", the opposition expressed, with an articulated opinion, by the Ministry of Culture had to be overcome with the powers of the head of government. At stake was a gigantic project, in terms of impact and power.

"Small" detail

The gentlemen of the Erg, with the intention of convincing the Government and not only of the goodness of their intention, had summarized their project in front of the Basilica of Saccargia with an Anglo-Saxon word: «revamping». The objective marked by endless papers was to replace the 51 wind turbines in operation in that same area with 27 wind turbines. There was a "small" detail that the former oilmen tried to camouflage: the existing blades had an already invasive height of 76 meters, for a power of 0.85 megawatts for each wind turbine, the new 27, instead, they should have climbed to an almost triple height of 180 meters and a power of no less than 4.5 megawatts each. The gentlemen of Erg had one goal: to pass on the imaginative concept that with fewer but higher blades, the impact on the landscape would have been sustainable. In reality, according to all opinions, the result would have been the exact opposite. Cingolani embraces the thesis, but first the Tar and then the Council of State explain to him, complete with sentences, now reaffirmed, that «the impact resulting from the presence of wind generators on the archaeological heritage and on the related landscape would not be reduced by the new plant , but it would be increased".

Untouchable Sardinia

There is a passage, then, in the Judges' decision which reaffirms an inviolable principle: «The Autonomous Region of Sardinia, on the basis of its Statute, has primary legislative competence in regulating the landscape-environmental aspects of its territory, in this differing from the Regions to which this competence is not attributed, therefore the aforementioned Region being able to identify, with greater autonomy with respect to the ordinary Regions, the areas unsuitable for the establishment of wind farms (judgment no. 224 of 2012), considering that the punctual application of the guidelines state guidelines, with respect to the Autonomous Region of Sardinia, meets the limit of jurisdiction inherent in landscape protection profiles (judgment no. 199 of 2014)". In other words, the statutory powers of Sardinia are not the same as those of the other Regions and must be fully respected.

All cancelled

The final device of the Sardinia Tar has no precedent in the history of autonomy: «The above arguments and considerations lead the Board to deem the contested resolution of the Council of Ministers illegitimate, due to lack of preliminary investigation, misrepresentation of the facts and consequent lack of motivation, due to the 'inadequacy and absence of factual confirmation of the preliminary elements on the basis of which the resolution was adopted, also in consideration of the definitive assessments contained in the sentence of the Council of State and the Sardinia TAR'. The conclusion is a pitched passage: "In conclusion, the appeal must be accepted, in the senses and limits now set out and, as a result, the resolution of the Council of Ministers and the consequent decree of the Ministry of the Environment must be annulled". Last annotation reported in the Region's appeal: did the Government protect private or public interests with those acts?

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