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ClientEarth Communications

26th October 2016

Wildlife & habitats
Access to Justice for a Greener Europe
Protecting species

EU tensions mount over nature law delay

The European Commission has failed to publish its findings following an in-depth review of EU nature laws by its consultants.

Both environmentalists and the European Parliament are frustrated by the Commission’s continuing delay in publishing its findings, let alone acting on the review’s conclusions. The EU nature laws protect more than a thousand animal and plant species and are critical in the fight to reverse the decline in biodiversity.

It’s not just environmental groups who are pushing the Commission for action.

An article published by the Guardian has revealed that the failure to publish is now also causing tensions between European parliament president Martin Schulz and Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, with Schulz warning that the delay may jeopardise the EU’s ability to meet its 2020 biodiversity targets.

The public already know the conclusions of the review of evidence after an NGO made a Freedom of Information request - this revealed that the EU Nature Directives have been deemed fit for purpose, but require better implementation.

Alice Puritz, lawyer at ClientEarth, said:

“This study has shown that our nature laws are doing the job we need them to, providing decent protection for nature in Europe – they just need better policing. When they are finally published, the Commission’s findings should reflect that conclusion.”

Alice continued:

“The delay in publication is concerning, as it suggests divisions and conflict in Brussels about what the next steps should be, despite the straightforward and clear findings of the study.”

ClientEarth will continue to push for strong EU nature laws that are properly implemented, to give animals and plants the protection they need.