Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has today expressed her concerns over the European Commission’s failure to enforce compliance with EU laws put in place to protect biodiversity and safeguard conservation sites. Her comments follow the publication of a new study  which has found that some Member States have disregarded the rules to allow businesses to develop areas of unique ecological value.
The report, commissioned on the initiative of the Green Group in the European Parliament, has reviewed the implementation of the EU’s Natura 2000 system of protecting and preserving biological diversity in the Member States. It is based on eight national reports from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Romania and the UK – each containing specific case studies related to the EU’s Natura 2000 system of protected sites .
London’s Green MEP, Jean Lambert, commented:
“This report confirms our deep concerns that EU law to protect biodiversity is often disregarded when economic interests come into play. It exposes the failure to adequately protect vulnerable or endangered species and habitats. Regrettably, there is clearly a preference to draw the borders of Natura 2000 protected sites according to the needs of developers and business, rather than on the basis of environmental realities and scientific advice.
“The study also finds serious deficiencies in the management of sites included in the Natura 2000 network, with non-transparent decision making and wholly inadequate assessments of the likely effects of major infrastructure projects and urbanisation.
“The European Union has committed to halt biodiversity loss by 2010, but this report clearly underlines why this objective is not likely to be reached. Monitoring of compliance with EU law is weak – a worse situation is only avoided thanks to the great job done by NGOs and citizens to raise the alarm on damaging projects.”
Notes to editors
 For the full report, “National Legislation and Practices Regarding the Implementation of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora, in particular Article 6”, go to
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/studies/ and tick the ‘Petitions’ box under the list of Committees, then click search.
 The countries and sites covered are:
Belgium (Landfill at L’Erablière de Tenneville; Windpower station in Dalhem; Container storage site in Antwerp); France (High-speed train line in Vallee du Nied; Highway in Vallee du Ciron; High voltage lines in Gorges du Verdon);
Germany (Dam on the River Ems; Dam on Borgfelder Wummewiesen);
Poland (Bypass in the Rospuda Valley; Bypass in the Drweca Valley); Romania (Rosia Montana mining project; Waste management in Podisul Hartibaciului);
Spain (Hotel in El Algarrobico; Enlargement of Barajs Airport; Urbanisation in the Soto of Garray);
Sweden (Botnia railroad; Eksjoberget wind power station);
United Kingdom (Dibden Bay container terminal; Cairngorm funicular railway; Dartford and Gravesham development plan).