Europe and Central Asia

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia - Press release 15 November 2017

MEPs say: Put some Action into the EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy


Today MEPs in Strasbourg voted on the EU Action Plan for nature, people and the economy - a roadmap for the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives – the EU’s flagship nature laws that represent the cornerstone of EU-wide efforts to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

By a large majority, the MEPs agree that the EU Action Plan is insufficient to reach the targets of EU's biodiversity strategy and that much better implementation on the ground and fuller compliance with the laws are the key to success.

The European lawmakers in particular stressed the need to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as it is not coherent with the EU’s environmental legislation and the overarching framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MEPs also strongly called on the European Commission to reform the next EU budget (MFF) to guarantee sufficient funding for nature.

Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of EU Policy, BirdLife Europe & Central Asia said:  “Today MEPs have once again affirmed the urgency of tackling the collapse of biodiversity. For this to happen we need a radical reform of EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and we must finally get serious about enforcing nature legislation. Ensuring the rule of law is a clear responsibility of the Commission.” ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Ariel Brunner, Senior Head of EU Policy
BirdLife Europe and Central Asia 
+32 491 90 46 53

The #NatureAlert campaign launched in response to the European Commission’s review of the Birds and Habitats Directives. This stemmed from President Jean-Claude Juncker’s instruction in 2014 to Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella to “carry out an in-depth evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directives and assess the potential for merging them into a more modern piece of legislation”, as part of the ‘better regulation’ initiative. An unprecedented coalition of over 200 NGOs across every EU member state gathered in response, calling for the Directives to be saved and better implemented – not “modernized”. In the biggest public consultation in the EU’s history, more than 520,000 citizens called for the Birds and Habits Directives to be saved and better implemented – more than 94% of the total responses. On 7 December 2016 the European Commission finally announced that the Birds and Habitats Directives – will be saved and not rewritten and weakened, ending two
years of uncertainty over the laws’ future. They also called for a plan to better implement and enforce these laws. For more information about the #NatureAlert campaign visit

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totalling 320,000 hectares.



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.