Nature: EU Commission urges SWEDEN and LATVIA to ensure the respect of EU nature protection laws
The Commission is asking Latvia and Sweden to respect their obligations under EU rules for the conservation of natural habitats and protected species included in the Natura 2000 network (the Habitats Directive, Council Directive 92/43/EEC).
Under the Directive, Member States agreed to the development of a coherent European Natura 2000 network by proposing to the Commission adequate Sites of Community Importance. The Natura 2000 network shall also include the Special Areas of Protection designated under the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC).
Sweden’s Natura 2000 network is insufficient both as regards habitat types and species under the Habitats Directive as well as birds and sites under the Birds Directive: a number of sites have not yet been designated, including marine sites.
While Latvia has designated all 328 Sites of Community importance as Special Areas of Conservation, it has generally and persistently failed to set site-specific detailed conservation objectives and measures that will ensure their effective protection and restoration.
Therefore, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice to both countries, which now have four months to address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.