Why EU Policy matters to BirdLife Europe
What has the EU ever done for (or against) the environment?
Over the last decades the EU has grown to be the biggest economic area in the world, including now 27 countries, with around half a billion citizens. This densely populated and on average very wealthy continent has a huge 'ecological footprint', within Europe and globally. The EU Member States are major contributors to climate change and biodiversity loss around the world. EU policies like on agriculture and fisheries are seen as main drivers of environmental degradation in Europe and globally.
At the same time the EU has introduced ambitious standards and (binding) legislation for environmental protection, for example on the quality of air and water. With the 'Birds' and 'Habitats' Directives the Member States and the European Parliament have jointly adopted flexible and modern legislation for the protection of nature which are admired throughout the world. In most EU countries these standards would have never been achieved by national government action alone.
At least on paper the EU government have committed all their policies to the principle of sustainable development, and they agreed to halt biodiversity decline by 2010. For the latter a detailed action plan has been elaborated. The EU also has ambitious goals for the reduction of greenhouse gases and wants to be seen as a global leader in the fight against climate change.
BirdLife Europe in Brussels
Because of the ever increasing impact that decisions taken at EU level have on nature and the environment, EU Policy is a key priority for BirdLife. Since 1993 we are represented with an office in Brussels, where the main institutions of the EU are located. Our EU Policy Team is part of BirdLife Europe and is active in the following ways:
- promoting and advocating BirdLife Europe's positions in institutions like the European Commission and the European Parliament, and supporting BirdLife Partners in lobbying national decision makers
- supporting and facilitating BirdLife's European wide expert groups and Task Forces
- working with other NGOs and stakeholders at European level
- informing national BirdLife Partners about relevant developments at EU level
- advising, training and helping Partners to deal with EU Policy related issues in their countries
Click here for an overview on the specific EU policies we are working on.
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