Nature: EU Commission asks CROATIA to correctly apply environmental impact assessments

The Commission is asking Croatia to improve its application of the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) concerning assessment of impact of wind farm projects on Natura 2000 sites.

The Habitats Directive requires that projects likely to have significant effects on Natura 2000 sites, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, can be authorised only after having ascertained that the integrity of the site concerned will not be adversely affected.

Croatia systematically failed to correctly apply the Habitats Directives when authorising changes to wind farm projects along its coast. In particular, authorisation procedures do not ensure that all relevant impacts on protected species and habitats are considered and are done without sufficient evidence that the projects will not negatively affect the integrity of the sites. Therefore, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice to Croatia.

The country has four months to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

Vivian Loonela

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