EU Nature Protection Legislation – Focus on Species Protection




Evaluation of the existing EU Nature Protection Legislation
The REFIT Fitness Check


The REFIT Fitness Check (in the framework of the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme) provides a comprehensive policy evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, which constitute the common EU Legislative framework for nature conservation across the Member States. This evaluation assesses if the Directives are fit for purpose by examining their performance against five criteria: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value. This includes examining implementation and integration successes and problems, the costs of implementation and non-implementation of the legislation, the administrative burden of implementation, and the opportunities to reduce it without compromising the integrity of the purpose of the Directives.

The scope of the Fitness Check, as set out in its mandate (roadmap) Click here for more information!, covers both the Birds and Habitats Directives, which aim to protect the EU’s most vulnerable species and habitat types across their entire natural range within the EU. The Fitness Check also has regard to relevant commitments under the EU Biodiversity Strategy Click here for more information! and international Biodiversity Conventions. In addition, the Fitness Check takes into account other relevant EU environmental Directives, as well as Communications, staff working papers and guidance documents that have been issued by the Commission and its Services in support of implementation of the Nature Directives.