Opinion Factsheet  

Принос към проверката за пригодност на Директивата за птиците и на Директивата за местообитанията

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Opinion Number: CDR 2624/2015
Rapporteur: BIWER Roby
Commission: ENVE
Status: Adopted
Date: 04/12/2015
 
Problems arising in connection with the conservation of species and habitats are not inherent in the Nature Directives themselves, but arise, for the most part, in their implementation at local, regional and Member State level. It is problematic, that other sectoral policies of the European Union, such as the common agricultural and fisheries policies, energy and transport policies, still do not contribute sufficiently to the preservation of biodiversity.
The European Commission and the Member States have to support local and regional authorities in the full implementation of the Nature Directives and to address the lack of funding and the need to simplify access to the existing sources of funding.
The European Commission is encouraged to adopt more effective implementation guidelines and update existing ones so that they are easily understandable and available via a single internet portal in the various languages of the Member States, reflect existing case law and, where appropriate, address the specific characteristics of certain sectors.
The Nature Directives shall not be revised, not least because local and regional authorities need more time in order to realise the potential of the directives to the greatest possible extent; and bearing in mind that initial uncertainties about the interpretation of the directives have largely been addressed by European Court of Justice case law, and that opening up the existing legislation for review will prompt protracted discussions among the stakeholders in society affected by the legislation, followed again by legal uncertainty.
Impact report 2015:
The own-initiative opinion allowed the CoR, at an early stage in the process, to feed the concerns of the EU's local and regional authorities that the Nature Directives should not be opened up for review into the EC's fitness check and into the positions of both the EP and the Council .

The section on the fitness check and the implementation of the Nature Directives in the Council conclusions on The Mid-Term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, adopted on 16 December 2015, reflected several of the CoR's positions, including:
the fact that the effectiveness of the Directives depends on consistent implementation, adequate financial resources and the integration of biodiversity into other sectoral policies;
the point that the results of the fitness check should allow for the identification of measures to further strengthen their implementation;
the call for the EC and the Member States to ensure predictable, adequate, regular and targeted funding for the proper management of Natura 2000;
the need for the EC to work on biodiversity-proofing the EU budget.

The EP resolution on the mid-term review of the EU's Biodiversity Strategy of February 2016 reflected several recommendations from the CoR opinion. The EP:
opposed a possible revision of the Nature Directives, stressing incomplete, divergent and inadequate implementation, enforcement and integration into other policy areas;
called on the EC to improve the user-friendliness of the guidelines and
called on regional and local authorities to provide information and raise awareness about biodiversity; called for a multi-stakeholder approach and
stressed the vital role of "regional and local actors", and of their full participation in this process.

Impact report 2016:
In addition to the impact reported already for 2015, the opinion had the following impact:

Following on the participation of the rapporteur in key events in 2015, the ENVE Commission and the rapporteur succeeded in maintaining the profile, inter-institutional role and visibility of the CoR on this dossier, by hosting and speaking at conferences at the CoR on "Health and Social benefits of Biodiversity and Nature Protection", "Solid biomass in European Protected Areas: Sustainable supply chain models" and "Actions for Nature – Getting Europe on track to meet its 2020 targets", and representing the CoR in the 2016 Natura 2000 Awards.

In line with the CoR opinion, the European Commission college in its orientation debate of 7 December 2016 decides not to revise the Nature Directives, but to adopt an Action Plan on improving their implementation. According to the European Commission, the Action Plan will foresee "holding regular meetings with mayors and other local authorities to assess implementation challenges and help Member States take the necessary corrective action", "appropriate implementation guidelines for regional actors, reducing unnecessary burdens and litigation, and incentivising national and regional investment in biodiversity". "The Committee of the Regions will be closely involved in the follow-up of today's orientation debate."

At the ENVE Commission meeting on 1 February 2017, European Commission Director-General for Environment Calleja Crespo hold a debate with ENVE members on the means of cooperation under the future European Commission Action Plan.

The CoR was closely involved by the European Commisison in the preparation of the Action Plan **(CoR participation in the project team of Commissioners steering the preparation). The Action Plan, adopted by the European Commission on 27 April 2017, **stresses that "the CoR (…) will play an essential role as regards engagement with and outreach to regional and local authorities." It assigns co-responsibilites to the CoR for the roll-out of some of its actions, including in particular the setting up of a joint CoR/EC platform to support knowledge exchange and engagement of local and regional authorities. and its roll-out (co-responsibility to be given to the CoR for some actions of the Action Plan). The European Commission press release of 27 April includes a quote of the CoR First Vice President Lambertz on the close coooperation.

The Council Conclusions of 19 June 2017 on the Action Plan, in line with the CoR opinion, explicitly refer in several points to competence of local and regional authorities in implementation of the Nature Directives and the need for their increased engagement.
Moreover the Council "welcomes the role that the EU institutions can play in supporting the delivery of the Action Plan, and in particular the Committee of the Regions as regards outreach and building ownership at regional and local level", and "urges the European Commission to monitor its delivery across the 15 actions identified therein, in close collaboration with the Member States and the EU institutions, in particular the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, and all other relevant stakeholders."
Moreover, the Council included in its conclusions two important elements, which go beyond the Action Plan (as the Action Plan ends 2019), but for which the CoR has also been calling for in its past opinions, namely the need to ensure predictable, adequate, regular and targeted EU financing for Natura 2000, and the call on the Commission to put forward a proposal for a trans-European network for green infrastructure (TENG) to support better connectivity of Natura 2000 in a cross-border context.

The *motion for resolution for consideration by the ENVI Commiteee on 31/08/2017 *on the Action Plan stresses the importance of taking immediate, substantial and additional efforts in order to achieve the 2020 targets. In addition, it calls on the Commission to come forward with several proposals, such as an EU initiative on pollinators and a proposal for the development of a Trans-European Network for Green Infrastructure (TEN-G). The latter has also been called for by the CoR opinion.

THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

- is convinced that problems arising in connection with the conservation of species and habitats are not inherent in the Nature Directives themselves, but arise, for the most part, in their implementation at local, regional and Member State level; finds it problematic, that other sectoral policies of the European Union, such as the common agricultural and fisheries policies, energy and transport policies, still do not contribute sufficiently to the preservation of biodiversity;

- calls on the European Commission and the Member States to support local and regional authorities in the full implementation of the Nature Directives and to address the lack of funding and the need to simplify access to the existing sources of funding;

- encourages the European Commission to adopt more effective implementation guidelines and update existing ones so that they are easily understandable and available via a single internet portal in the various languages of the Member States, reflect existing case law and, where appropriate, address the specific characteristics of certain sectors;

- believes that it would be better not to revise the Nature Directives, not least because local and regional authorities need more time in order to realise the potential of the directives to the greatest possible extent; and bearing in mind that initial uncertainties about the interpretation of the directives have largely been addressed by European Court of Justice case law, and that opening up the existing legislation for review will prompt protracted discussions among the stakeholders in society affected by the legislation, followed again by legal uncertainty.

Importance

High
Medium
Low
 

Protection of natural and cultural heritage in Montenegro

The rapporteur participated to the Joint Consultative Committee between the CoR and Montenegro that prepares the ground for the enlargement of the EU by promoting political dialogue and cooperation between the local authorities. It held its eleventh meeting in Nikšić (Montenegro).
The rapporteur, Mr Roby Biwer (LU/PES), intervened as speaker in the session on Protection of natural and cultural heritage.
This action contributed to the Action Plan for nature, people and the economy, especially to Action 14 for which the CoR is co-responsible.

 
18 Oct
 

European Week of Regions and Cities workshop "Nature protection in cross-border areas", 9th meeting of the CoR/EC Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment

European Week of Regions and Cities workshop "Nature protection in cross-border areas", organised by the EGTC Platform and the CoR Interregional Group on cross-border cooperation. 9th meeting of the CoR/EC Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment. With participation of the rapporteur

 
10 Oct
 

CoR hosts Conference on Old Growth Forest Protection

Rapporteur hosts and speaks at Conference on Old Growth Forest Protection

 
13 Sep
 

EP ENVI consideration of motion for resolution on the "Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy".

The draft resolution stresses the importance of taking immediate, substantial and additional efforts in order to achieve the 2020 targets. In addition, it calls on the Commission to come forward with several proposals, such as an EU initiative on pollinators and a proposal for the development of a Trans-European Network for Green Infrastructure (TEN-G). The latter has also been called for by the CoR opinion.
Co-sponsors MEPs: Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Karin Kadenbach (S&D), Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE), Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL), Benedek Jávor (Verts/ALE), Mireille D'Ornano (ENF)

 
31 Aug
 

Visit of Director General Calleja Crespo to the rapporteur in Luxemburg

Visit to exchange on the work undertaken by SICONA, an association set up by the Luxemburgish municipalities which manages the Natura 2000 sites (including through LIFE projects). The rapporteur is President of the Association.

 
19 Jun
 

Council Conclusions on the "Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy"

Council Conclusions on the "Action Plan for Nature, People and the Economy".
The Council "welcomes the role that the EU institutions can play in supporting the delivery of the Action Plan, and in particular the Committee of the Regions as regards outreach and building ownership at regional and local level", and "urges the European Commission to monitor its delivery across the 15 actions identified therein, in close collaboration with the Member States and the EU institutions, in particular the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, and all other relevant stakeholders."

 
19 Jun
 

Launch Conference "An Action Plan for nature, people and the economy"

Co-organised by the European Commisison and the CoR, at the CoR.
With participation of EC First Vice President Timmermans, EC Vice-President Katainen, Commissioner Vella and CoR First-Vice President Karl-Heinz Lambertz, ENVE 1st Vice-Chair Witold Stępień, with12 ENVE members in total attending.

 
06 Jun
 

Launch event of European Natura 2000 Day

Participation of CoR First Vice-President Karl-Heinz Lambertz in the launch event of European Natura 2000 Day, with Commissioner Vella

 
15 May
 

ENVE Commission study visit on "Better implementation of EU nature and water directives and their harmonisation with economic interests -the example of the Ems Masterplan 2050 in Lower Saxony"

ENVE Commission study visit on "Better implementation of EU nature and water directives and their harmonisation with economic interests -the example of the Ems Masterplan 2050 in Lower Saxony", hosted by Ms Birgit Honé (DE/PES)

 
05 May
 

European Commission Press Release on the Action Plan includes quote of CoR First Vice-President

The European Commission Press Release on the Action Plan (IP/17/1112) includes quote of CoR First Vice-President "The Action Plan is a step in the right direction. As the Assembly representing cities and regions in Europe, we will support its roll out and actively engage with local and regional authorities to ensure we reach our biodiversity targets for 2020"

 
27 Apr
 

European Commission Action Plan

European Commission adopts Action Plan for improving implementation of the Nature Directives (COM(2017) 198 final). The Action Plan stresses that "the CoR (…) will play an essential role as regards engagement with and outreach to regional and local authorities." It assigns co-responsibilities to the CoR for the roll-out of some of the actions, including in particular the setting up of a joint CoR/EC platform to support knowledge exchange and engagement of local and regional authorities.

 
27 Apr
 

Debate during ENVE Commission with Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General for Environment, European Commission

Debate during ENVE Commission with Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General for Environment, European Commission on results of the fitness-check of the Nature Directives and inter-institutional cooperation under the future Action Plan on their improved implementation

 
01 Feb
 

European Commission CGBN on Action Plan on the Nature Directives

ENVE secretariat attends extra-ordinary meeting of the CGBN on the Action Plan on the Nature Directives

 
26 Jan
 

Letter by Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General for Environment, to the ENVE Commission Chair

Letter by Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General for Environment, European Commission addressed to the ENVE Commission Chair, asking for a presentation and debate with ENVE members on the results of the fitness-check of the Nature Directives and inter-institutional cooperation under the future Action Plan on their improved implementation, seeking close cooperation with CoR

 
20 Dec
 

European Commission publishes its findings of the fitness-check of the Nature Directives

European Commission publishes its findings of the fitness-check of the Nature Directives (SWD(2016) 472 final, SWD(2016) 473 final)

 
16 Dec
 

European Commission college orientation debate: Action Plan with close involvement of the CoR

Orientation debate of the European Commission.
Decision, in line with the CoR opinion not to revise the Nature Directives, but to adopt an Action Plan on improving their implementation.
According to the European Commission, the Action Plan will foresee "holding regular meetings with mayors and other local authorities to assess implementation challenges and help Member States take the necessary corrective action", "appropriate implementation guidelines for regional actors, reducing unnecessary burdens and litigation, and incentivising national and regional investment in biodiversity". "The Committee of the Regions will be closely involved in the follow-up of today's orientation debate."

 
07 Dec
 

European Commission First Vice-President Timmermans at the CoR plenary session

In the CoR Plenary Session debate with European Commission First Vice-President Timmermans, the rapporteur congratulates the European Commission for the decision taken on 07/12/2016 not to revise the Directives.

 
07 Dec
 

Actions for Nature conference

EEB conference "Actions for Nature – Getting Europe on track to meet its 2020 targets" hosted by the rapporteur at the CoR

 
14 Sep
 

Natura 2000 Awards

Representation of the CoR rapporteur in the jury and the award ceremony for the Natura 2000 awards 2016.

 
23 May
 

Conference "Solid biomass in European Protected Areas: Sustainable supply chain models"

Rapporteur hosts and speaks at International Conference of the BioEUParks project "Solid biomass in European Protected Areas: Sustainable supply chain models" at the CoR

 
03 Mar
 

European Parliament Vote on resolution on mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

Vote on resolution on mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
01 Feb
 

Conference on "Health and Social benefits of Biodiversity and Nature Protection"

Rapporteur hosts and speaks at conference of European Commission study on "Health and Social benefits of Biodiversity and Nature Protection" at the CoR

 
26 Jan
 

European Parliament ENVI Committee of report on mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

Adoption in ENVI Committee of report on mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
22 Dec
 

Council Conclusions on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

Environment Council Conclusions on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
15 Dec
 

CoR Plenary Session

Vote of CoR opinion

 
02 Dec
 

European Commission Conference in Brussels on the Fitness Check,

Dedicated conference in Brussels on the Fitness Check, where draft results of the evaluation will be shared by the European Commission and discussed with Member States and key stakeholder groups; CoR rapporteur speaks at the Opening Session with the Commissioner

 
20 Nov
 

European Parliament

Deadline for amendments in ENVI Committee to draft report on mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
15 Nov
 

Rapporteur's activities

Rapporteur opens event on "Health and Social benefits of Biodiversity and Nature Protection" at the Committee of the Regions

 
08 Nov
 

Rapporteur's activities

Meeting with MEP Karin Kadenbach, European Parliament PES group shadow rapporteur on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
13 Oct
 

Rapporteur's activities

Meeting with EP rapporteur Mr Demesmaeker & statement at EP ENVI Committee hearing on "Investing in nature and biodiversity: challenges and opportunities", in presence of EP rapporteur Mr Demesmaeker

 
11 Oct
 

European Commission adopts Mid-term review of EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

European Commission adopts Mid-term review of EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
01 Oct
 

CoR Commission activity

Vote of CoR draft opinion in ENVE Commission. Roundtable discussion with Camille Gira, State Secretary for Sustainable development and Infrastructures, Luxemburg, EU Presidency; MEP Margrete Auken, European Parliament shadow rapporteur on the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020; Stefan Leiner, Acting Director Natural Capital, European Commission; European Environment Agency (EEA); Renewables Grid Initiative

 
27 Sep
 

Rapporteur's activities

Rapporteur welcomes on behalf of the CoR as host the joint meeting of the European Commission Working Groups MAES and Green Infrastructure & Restoration; bilateral meetings with European Commission and individual stakeholders

 
17 Sep
 

Rapporteur's activities

Rapporteur participates in his function within Luxemburg in the Informal ENV Council Meeting

 
21 Jul
 

Rapporteur's activities

Meeting with European Commission

 
08 Jul
 

Related Activities

Final report CoR Territorial Impact Assessment (TIA) on the Birds and Habitats Directives

 
07 Jul
 

CoR Commission activity

Exchange of views in CoR ENVE Commission on the basis of a working document of the rapporteur

 
29 Jun
 

European Parliament

ENVI Committee nominates rapporteur for EP resolution on mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

 
16 Jun
 

Rapporteur's activities

EU Green Week workshop "Natura 2000 as a source of regional identity and values", co-organised by the CoR and the EC, moderated by the rapporteur(5th meeting of CoR/EC Joint Technical Platform for Cooperation on the Environment)

 
03 Jun
 

CoR Commission activity

Participation of ENVE Commission Vice-Chair Sirpa Hertell (FI/EPP) in the Natura 2000 Award 2015 ceremony

 
20 May
 

Rapporteur's activities

Participation in CoR workshop on Territorial Impact Assessment of the Birds-/Habitats-Directives

 
19 May
 

CoR Commission activity

Participation of ENVE Commission Vice-Chair Sirpa Hertell (FI/EPP) in the Natura 2000 Award 2015 jury

 
04 May
 

European Commission

Launch of public consultation supporting the fitness-check by the European Commission

 
29 Apr