EU court orders Germany to do more for Natura 2000

Pine forest

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Germany and in particular the state of Bavaria do not comply with the EU Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive.

According to the EU court in Luxembourg, Germany has failed to take appropriate protective measures for several Natura 2000 areasieden. After years of procedures and warnings, European fines are now looming.

The European Court finds that current German efforts are insufficient to protect endangered habitats and species. This includes the Bavarian natural gebieden, but also applies to other gebieden. 

Part of the underlying problem is that parts of the nature and landscape policy are the powers of the federal states, while the federal government in Berlin is called to account by Brussels. This also happened previously with German violations of the European Nitrate Directive and German manure policy.

The European Court of Justice ruling highlights the importance of complying with EU nature protection laws. The Court has ruled that Germany and Bavaria have failed to meet their obligations to preserve and restore biodiversity in protected natural areas.

This legally binding judgment will likely lead to a revision of nature conservation policy in Germany. Berlin must also do more to preserve the country's natural resources.

One of the gebieden that receives special attention is the Fichtelgebirge in Bavaria. Bayerns Landesbund für Vogelschutz (LBV), a nature conservation organization, stressed that the state of Bavaria has also failed to protect habitats in FFH-gebieden. The Court has now demanded that Germany and Bavaria immediately take additional measures.

In response to the verdict, the German government has indicated that it will take the ruling seriously and take measures to comply with the EU guidelines for nature conservation.

is now expected to work to strengthen its efforts to protect and restore endangered habitats and species in protected nature reserves, thus preserving biodiversity for future generations.