The European Commission has decided to carry out an in-depth evaluation (Fitness Check) of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives (EU Nature Directives dating from 1979 and 1992 respectively) to determine whether they effectively protect our natural world. These laws protect our most important nature sites and species and also make a vital contribution to our wellbeing.
Given the current deregulatory agenda of the new Juncker Commission and its rhetoric on cutting so-called ‘green tape’, as environmental NGOs we are very concerned that this process will be used to weaken the two Nature Directives and undermine years of progress on nature conservation. The EU Nature Directives are recognised as some of the strongest in the world at protecting animals, plants and habitats from extinction and have created the world’s biggest network of protected areas, Natura 2000, covering about one fifth of Europe’s land and 4% of its marine sites. Access to nature benefits our health and protected sites also help to protect communities from flooding and provide us with clean water.
Slow Food supports the initiative of Birdlife, the European Environmental Bureau, Friends of the Earth Europe, and WWF – that have decided to join forces and launch the EU Nature Alert Campaign, an online tool that allows people in all 28 EU countries to participate in the Commission’s public consultation.