As part of its regulatory REFIT programme, the European Commission has been conducting a 'fitness check' of European nature legislation (the Birds and Habitats Directives). Through the European Network of Environmental Professionals, the IES has been involved in a stakeholder consultation as part of this review. Now, however, a 12 week open public consultation has been launched online, and we would encourage all interested IES members to respond.
This consultation is designed to gather opinions on current EU nature conservation legislation and its implementation to date. The review is investigating whether current legislation is proportionate and fit for purpose, and delivering as expected. The results of this consultation will be analysed and summarised in a report which will later be published on the fitness check website. The questionnaire is split into two parts: the second is more detailed and designed for those who have more in depth experience of the subject matter, but all interested parties are encouraged to respond to the first section.
An alliance of 100 voluntary organisations from across the UK, the Joint Links Group, argue that this fitness check represents a threat to EU nature protection legislation, and have launched an online tool, Nature Alert!, which allows people to submit a pre-filled-in version of the questionnaire in a few simple clicks. However, please note that this tool does not allow you to change the pre-chosen responses.