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Conference on the Fitness Check of EU Nature Legislation

high-level conference is organised by the European Commission on 20 November in Brussels to present and discuss the emerging findings of the ’fitness check’ of the EU Nature Directives (i.e. Birds and Habitats Directives). This fitness check is a part of the wider Smart Regulation process by the Commission, aimed at assessing whether the regulatory frameworks for different policy sectors, including the environment, are fit for purpose. This involves assessing the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and relevance of the regulatory frameworks and related legislative instruments.

The (draft) emerging findings of the nature Directives fitness check suggest that the Directives make a major contribution to the EU’s biodiversity target of halting the loss of biodiversity. Where fully and properly implemented, the Directives have effectively reduced pressures on biodiversity, slowed declines and – with time – led to some recoveries of habitats and species. However, it also seems apparent that the impacts of the measures taken so far are not yet sufficient to meet the overall aims of the Directives. The availability of funding has had a significant influence on the implementation of the Directives. The increase in funding availability stimulated by the Directives (such as the LIFE programme and CAP agri-environment measures) has been vital – but there are clear shortages in funding that are limiting progress, especially in the establishment of conservation management measures.

These – and a range of other – key findings have been made available in the form of a draft report and will be presented to stakeholders on Friday. IEEP experts have played an integral role in Commissions’ evaluation study that is supporting the fitness check, collecting and analysing the evidence and supporting the development of these emerging findings.

The conference is full, however, it will be possible to join the web streaming of the event here.

For more information on our work in this area, please contact Dr. Graham Tucker (

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