EU starts lawsuit against Germany for evading habitat directive

The European Commission has taken Germany to the European Court of Justice for insufficient biodiversity. After years of warnings and exhortations, Germany has now been charged with insufficient compliance with the Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive (FFH Directive).

After the first deadline of more than ten years ago, Germany has still not effectively designated a large number of bieden as protected areas, according to Brussels. That is why Germany is being urged to finally finalize the necessary measures from the EU Habitat Directive.

With the Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the European Commission wants to protect and restore biological diversity in Europe. In concrete terms, the guideline is about the designation of special protected areas, and the naming of concrete targets.

Last week, the German cabinet of CDU and SPD reached a compromise on an insect and animal welfare law that also includes some environmental measures. But CDU Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner has made a reservation against many environmental elements.

Most German Länder are also opposed to too many restrictions on the management of German farmers and livestock breeders. As a result, it is unclear whether Germany will do anything against violations of the EU habitats directive before the upcoming parliamentary elections at the end of this year.

In some cases, the deadline for implementation of the Habitats Directive has already passed more than ten years. After 2015, extensive discussions were held with the German authorities. In 2019, the European Commission confirmed its requirements. To date, Germany “has still not designated a significant number of gebieden as Special Areas of Conservation,” according to the EU press release.

The Federal Department of the Environment said more details about the EU procedure will be released in the coming weeks or months. Berlin will then investigate and deal with the federal states responsible for the vast majority of FFH-gebieden.

Brussels says Germany has no measurable targets for all 4,606 FFH-bleTP9Tn of Community importance in Germany. Berlin points out that the EU measures have been introduced in the FFH-Gebieden in the economic zone (EEZ) in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, for which the federal government is responsible.