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European Commission Launches Fitness Check on the Habitats and Birds Directives

In April 2015 the European Commission will launch a 12-week consultation with the aim of reviewing the Birds and Habitats Directives. Publications that might contribute to the review are currently collated in collaboration with the public affairs consultancy Milieu.

This coincides with the proposal by CIIEM to set up a new Thematic Task Force that aims to monitor the review and ensure that the voices of environmental professionals are heard. The review also coincides with ENEP’s preparation for Green Week 2015, which will fittingly focus on nature and biodiversity this year.

The overall timeline and key milestones for the Fitness Check are as follows (more information available from the DG ENV web page above)

  • February 2014: publication of the mandate for the Fitness Check on the Habitats and Birds Directives
  • End October 2014: launch of a contract to assist the Commission in the gathering and assessment of relevant information and evidence for the Fitness Check by a consortium, led by MILIEU Legal and Policy Consultant in partnership with the Institute of European Environment Policy (IEEP), ICF International and ECOSYSTEMS Ltd.
  • From January 2015: consultation on the draft list of key documents that are relevant to the Fitness Check.
  • January 2015: start of a structured evidence gathering consultation with all Member States and key stakeholder groups
  • April 2015: launch of a 12 week public internet consultation.
  • April 2015 publication of the 'State of Nature in the EU' report, which will be based on Member States conservation status assessments for the Birds and Habitats Directives
  • June 2015: Green Week 2015, in Brussels, will focus on nature and biodiversity related issues and will provide opportunities for discussion on topics related to the Fitness Check.
  • [By the end of June 2015 the evidence gathering phase for the Fitness Check will be largely complete.]
  • Late September 2015: a dedicated conference will be held on the Fitness Check in Brussels, where draft results of the evaluation will be shared and discussed with Member States and key stakeholder groups.
  • Early 2016: publication of Commission report on the results of the Fitness Check. 

Read more HERE

Issue 39