European conservation standards will not be tampered with

The EU directives on nature conservation will not be relaxed or weakened. On the contrary, in future efforts will be made to ensure they are better implemented. This was confirmed by the EU commission yesterday, ending two years of nail-biting over the future of the European Birds Directive and the Directive on Habitats, Flora and Fauna. Any relaxing of these directives would have undermined the foundations of nature conservation in Europe.

The EU commission will now develop a concrete action plan. This will help improve the implementation of European conservation guidelines. EuroNatur welcomes this decision and calls urgently for words to be translated in to action now.

Since 2014, the two central tools of European nature conservation have been subjected to scrutiny under the aegis of so-called fitness checks. The EU commission’s goal was, in its own words, to establish whether the European legislation currently applicable is suited to achieving the high environmental and conservation goals of the European Union. The result of the investigation was clear and came as no surprise to nature conservationists. The directives are themselves completely adequate. The EU is not short of laws, directives, programmes, political declarations or recommendations, but it does lack concerted campaigns at all levels of political action.

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