Hello again from Spain! We have lodged a complaint with the EU regarding the problems we are having with spending the night in our Motorhomes when correctly parked or stationed and adhering to the “Instruction 08/V-74” (which I posted on this site last year). The complaint lodged, which has been sent to 750 Members of the EU, is as follows: “The cause of complaint is to denounce the situation of Motorhome users in Spain who are tired of protesting before the various Spanish governmental departments and receiving no reply and therefore have no option other than to denounce this situation before the European Union with the hope of receiving a solution once and for all. Motorhome users in Spain are continually persecuted and restricted by Local and Municipal Councils and in some cases by Regional Governments with the Spanish State failing to adopt or enforce measures to correct this persecution and where they directly prohibit the legal stationing or parking of Motorhomes in the entire municipal areas of many cities, towns and villages. Motorhome users are denounced as being “camped” – even when they are only legally “parked” in a public car park – due to the enforcement of illegal municipal ordinances which do not take into account the difference between being “parked” and “camped”. As we are well aware, it is the Central Government who is constitutionally competent in traffic legislation, first through the Home Ministry and finally through the General Directorate of Traffic. After consultation with diverse Motorhome Associations the GDT resolved via the “Instruction 08/V-74” that: “The General Rule of Circulation does not establish any other conditions that must be upheld on effecting the stationing or parking of any vehicle, therefore this General Directorate of Traffic considers that while a vehicle is correctly stationed, without surpassing the road markings which delimit the station zone, nor the temporary limit of the same, if applicable, the fact that the Motorhome users remain inside their vehicles is irrelevant and a Motorhome vehicle is no exception, being sufficient that the activity in the interior does not transcend to the exterior by the deployment of elements beyond the perimeter of the vehicle such as stalls, awnings, levelling devices, stabilizing supports, etc. This interpretation by the GTD is continually violated by some Public Sectors who consider that remaining in the interior of a Motorhome or Camping Car vehicle is equivalent to “camping” which leads the vehicles users to suffer a serious legal insecurity and defencelessness and possibly even producing a cause of prevarication when the vehicles owners are heavily fined, even suffering police harassment, discrimination and comparative punishment, when legally these vehicles should be considered and treated in exactly the same way as any other motor vehicle. Spanish legislation is very clear regarding the rights and obligations of Motorhome and Camping Car users and these are clearly covered in the same “Instruction 08/V-74”. Nevertheless the Municipalities draw up ordinances which not only ignore the rights of the Motorhome and Camping Car users but also ignore the Laws which should be upheld when approving their ordinances. The same General Rules of Circulation in article 93 paragraph 2 states: “that nobody may alter these rules” but it is general practice to ignore Laws approved by Spanish Congress and to enforce their own illegal “Laws” and even to ignore the Laws of the European Union regarding coexistence of which they are even unaware. Motorhomes and Camping Cars are vehicles which are fitted with determined equipment which allows more comfort in the interior but this in no way changes the fact that they are vehicles and are therefore subject in all aspects to the legal traffic legislation and also to the payment of the corresponding vehicle taxes such as VAT, registration tax, road tax etc. and the same as other vehicles which circulate on public roads are also subject to the obligatory MOT inspections. Motorhome and Camping Car users request that they be treated exactly the same way as other vehicles with which they share the same technical characteristics and that the “Instruction V-74” is applied and adhered to and also that an Office be created where Spaniards may claim against the Spanish State for the obligatory compliance of the “Instruction V-74”. There should be no further discrimination with these vehicles than that which the Law of Circulation establishes such as MMA regarding access to the inner towns and cities. Motorhome and Camping Car users understand that their rights are being infringed and very often even their dignity, not only Spaniards but also the users from the European Union. We firmly believe that Motorhome and Camping Car users should not be treated in a different manner to the other users of other types of vehicles be they motorcars or lorries and who, when the occupants spend the night inside their vehicles or when they are legally parked, are not molested nor denounced. We are not requesting to be allowed to station without any time limit on length of stay as we understand that this could hypothetically molest the rest of users of parking areas and other station zones, we simply wish to be able to station and enjoy and make use of the parking facilities, whether urban or inter-urban, in equal conditions as the rest of the citizens. As the interest in the enjoyment of the environment and our rich cultural and artistic treasures demand, we are in complete agreement that the necessary corrective measures be adopted against those Motorhome and Camping Car users who empty their residues and refuse in unauthorized places, molest other people or carry out activities which transcend to the exterior of their vehicles. Tourism in Motorhomes and Camping Cars is not only seasonal but is carried out throughout the entire year. Contrary to the rest of Europe, this form of tourism, which in the European Community is enjoyed by more than 2 million families and is on the increase daily, is nevertheless sub-esteemed, when not persecuted, in our country. In a global perspective, a lack of knowledge regarding this type of tourism, by some of the Public sectors and a fierce defense of Camping Sites (it must be remembered that many of these establishments close their doors during a great part of the year), in detriment of other sectors involved in the tourism industry all year round such as Motorhome sales agents, gift shops, restaurants, supermarkets, museums, etc. suffer a drastic drop in their takings and there is no substitute - except the dole queues. Spain seems to forget and it is important to remind her that there are important Motorhome and Camping Car Sales Agents who offer work to a significant number of workers and who pay into the municipal and autonomic coffers and the persecution by their agents could cause many prospective buyers to visit other member states for the acquisition of their vehicles or simply decide not to buy. This behavior by some of the Public sectors forces us to take action as with this denouncement to defend our rights and our dignity as a people and also as full EC citizens, where you will observe that we are only requesting that the Laws, which should protect us, are enforced and, it is supposed, that our politicians should be the first to set a good example by implementing the Laws. We trust that this denouncement and the timely warnings make our politicians reconsider that with their actions they are blocking or eliminating the fundamental rights which they should protect and for which they were democratically elected. We also hope that the rest of the Spanish citizens begin to reconsider the belief that we are a “marginal collective” – perhaps deliberately extended by pressure groups with interests in the Camping Site and tourist sector – and realize that we are citizens exactly the same as others and who mostly obey the principal rule of respect towards the environment and the customs of the places we visit.” We have received a reply from Mr. Roger Helmer MEP for East Midlands but as we are not his constituents he will probably be unable to help us. Maybe members of Motorhomefun who reside in the East Midlands would be willing to contact Mr. Helmer on your own behalf to lodge the same complaint regarding the problems you have in parking/stationing Motorhomes when you visit Spain? Thank you for your help and we trust that with the assistance of other European Motorhomers (French, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Dutch, Belgian, German, Italian, etc) we will all, finally, be able to enjoy our Motorhomes as was intended when we decided to make the necessary investment in acquiring our Motorhomes. If you require any further information please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Best regards, Momo.