Europe and Central Asia
3 May 2016

What's next in BirdLife's campaign to protect EU nature laws?

From research and a social media onslaught to national events by our Partners, we're doing it all. Photo: Arturo de Frias Marques/Wikimedia Commons
By Mike Walker

The coming weeks and months are critical for the #NatureAlert campaign to protect the EU’s nature laws. Since the resounding support of the European Parliament vote in February, the Council decision in December, and of course, the result of the public consultation, the Commission is in the process of drafting its “Fitness Check” (in the form of a Staff Working Document), on the Nature Directives.

Feeling the continued #NatureAlert pressure and scrutiny of EU citizens can only encourage the Commission to deliver the “Fitness Check” that citizens have been calling for. So please continue to back the campaign.

In support of the Commission’s drafting, on 13 April BirdLife published a shadow Staff Working Document, From Nature Alert to Action. Thank you to all who circulated this! Please continue to share and reference it.

To reengage citizens in #NatureAlert, on 16 May BirdLife partners are organising Thunderclap actions throughout Europe to remind Commissioner Karmenu Vella and Vice President Frans Timmermanns that we expect a proposal for decisive action following publication of the “Fitness Check” (join BirdLife’s Thunderclap here).

We would then encourage you to support WWF’s pan-Europe Turn Up the Volume for Nature campaign starting on 18 May, which will target ministers to drive home the fact that citizens want strong EU nature laws. And on 21 May, we will all be celebrating Natura 2000 Day by reminding decisionmakers to be #NatureAlert.

On 1 June, BirdLife will mark the European Commission’s Green Week, whose theme this year is “Investing in a Greener Future”, by publishing a declaration by small and medium businesses throughout Europe who rely on a healthy environment for their viability. Natuurpunt and Natagora (BirdLife in Belgium Flanders and Wallonia, respectively) will have a surprise for participants at the Commission’s conference on the same day.

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The next major event in the fight to protect Europe’s nature laws is the Dutch Presidency conference in Amsterdam at the end of June. That is when we expect the Commissioner to declare his support for the Nature Directives, and what comes after the “Fitness Check”.

This is an important moment not only to celebrate what we hope will be his support for nature, but also to let Commissioner Vella know that just declaring the Nature Directives fit for purpose is not good enough. They must be now be implemented and resourced in full for them to protect and enhance the healthy environment that is so vital for us all.

BirdLife Europe and our Partners are working to make sure we focus these messages of celebration and expectation on Commissioner Vella and Vice President Timmermans in Amsterdam. 


Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.