Data to underpin Dutch Parliament view on EU nature legislation
The European Commission is currently studying the effectiveness of its European legislation, the EU Birds and Habitats Directives. This is part of a wider ‘fitness check’ of European policy to identify whether legislation is still fit for purpose. Governments in EU Member States are therefore now formulating their views on effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance, and EU added value of the nature directives.
In order to support the Dutch Parliament’s deliberations, a national platform of environmental organizations (De Groene 11) organized a Green Masterclass on the fitness check in The Hague on 26 October 2015. ECNC was invited to present a summary of the recent report State of Nature in the EU, which was produced by the European Environment Agency for the European Commission. ECNC’s Ben Delbaere presented the key figures on the EU state of nature and more particularly on the situation in the Netherlands. Despite the overall negative picture, both for the EU and in particular for the Netherlands, indications were given on how the nature directives have positive effects on components of nature. The 20 participants of the masterclass, members of parliament as well as nature organizations, recognized the need for strengthened implementation of the directives in order to turn the tide.
The masterclass also included a presentation by Dr Floor Fleurke of Tilburg University on legal aspects concerning the Birds and Habitats Directives, and by David van Zelm van Eldik of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment on the application of ecosystem services to societal challenges as part of a national environmental strategy.