To advance its Smart Regulation policy the European Commission has initiated a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT), and as part of this it will undertake a Fitness Check of EU Nature legislation, focusing on the Birds Directives and Habitats Directives. This will comprise a comprehensive assessment of whether the regulatory framework is “fit for purpose”. The assessment will concentrate on the following key themes that were set out in the Commission’s mandate for the fitness check:
- Effectiveness (have the objectives been met?)
- Efficiency (were the costs involved reasonable?)
- Coherence (does the policy complement other actions or are there contradictions?)
- Relevance (is EU action still necessary?)
- EU added value (can or could similar changes have been achieved at national/regional level, or did EU action provide clear added value?)
The fitness check will be informed by the results of current evaluations required under the Habitats and Birds Directives, which include assessments of the conservation status of habitats and species covered by the directives. The Commission will also be supported by a contract that will collect evidence (through literature and data reviews and consultations with stakeholders and the wider public) and assess it in relation to the themes above.
IEEP is part of a consortium, led by Milieu and with ICF and Ecosystems Ltd, that has been awarded this study.
Further information, including the mandate for the fitness check (which outlines the specific questions that will be assessed under each of the themes) and timetable, can be found on the DG Environment website.