Europe and Central Asia
29 Oct 2015

Now Euro MPs join fight to protect nature laws

The European Parliament chamber in Brussels
The European Parliament chamber in Brussels
By Finlay Duncan

Another piece of good news today in the campaign to protect Europe’s key nature laws, the Birds and Habitats Directives.

Just days after environment ministers from nine European Governments (from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Luxembourg) called for the so-called Nature Directives to be safeguarded, MEPs from across the political spectrum have now also spoken out.

A letter from key representatives of seven of the European Parliament’s eight political groupings (Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), Norbert Lins (EPP), Karin Kadenbach (S&D), Catherine Bearder (ALDE), Lynn Boylan (GUE), Margrete Auken (Greens-EFA) and Marco Affronte (EFDD)) has been sent to Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, and Environment Commissioner, Karmenu Vella.

It’s urging them not to re-open the directives and instead make sure they are implemented better.

The MEPs are speaking for their political groups, that make up 697 of the 751 seats in the European Parliament chamber. Coupled with the nine governments who spoke out earlier this week, and who represent more than 60% of the EU population, this demonstrates the overwhelming opposition to President Juncker’s original desire to see the Nature Directives “overhauled” under the guise of better regulation.

The politicians included in their letter the line: “the nature directives can be considered as smart regulation avant la lettre by their concise and coherent form”, showing they believe the laws do not need to be re-opened.

Welcoming the letter, Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of Policy for BirdLife Europe, said: “Support for the Nature Directives is snowballing. Half a million citizens, nine governments and now all bar one of the political groups in the European Parliament are asking for enforcement, not re-opening of the nature directives. It is time for the Commission to drop their deregulation agenda and look seriously at how make our laws work on the ground”.

BirdLife is now expecting a clear signal from the European Commission, at an upcoming conference on the Nature Directives in Brussels, and that it listens to the voice of the people, Members of the European Parliament and governments of Europe.

More information on the Nature Alert campaign is available here.

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. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.