The European Court of Auditors believes that in recent years the European Union has used far too little money from the CAP Rural Fund for the refurbishment of Europe's forests.
Almost all the money went to the management and construction of forests, and barely to the recovery of backlogs. There was also little progress in restoring biodiversity in forest gebieden.
There is much less funding for forest land than for agriculture, even though the area covered by forest is about the same size as the area used for agricultural purposes. Less than 1 % of the CAP budget is available for forestry
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has taken stock of the EU forest strategy and key policy measures in the 2014-2020 period. Although the area covered by forest has increased over the past thirty years, the condition of the forests is deteriorating.
The Court finds that the European Commission could have taken stronger measures to protect the forests. For example, although the EU Timber Regulation prohibits the marketing of illegally harvested timber and products from such timber, the EU countries are doing far too little against this. There is often a lack of effective controls, including by the Commission.
The EU has ratified several international agreements and must therefore respect a number of targets for forest biodiversity. A EU report on the state of Europe's forests from last year already concluded that the state of Europe's forests is deteriorating.