The European Commission today published its EU State of Nature report. This underlines the dire state of European nature, but it also highlights that when properly protected and managed, nature can recover.
Reacting to the report, Pieter de Pous, EU Policy Director said:
“Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s Better Regulation package ,this report shows once again that environmental legislation works when implemented seriously and that it is needed more then ever before. The fact more than 100,000 EU citizens have in less than a week called on the European Commission to defend EU nature protection laws shows such legislation has massive popular support . The message is crystal clear: EU nature policies should be better enforced, not revised, and sustainable development made the overarching priority of the EU.”
Notes to editors
 The European Commission yesterday agreed its “Better Regulation” package during its College meeting in Strasbourg. A key tenet of the package is the reduction of the number of laws passed in the EU each year. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and his team have already shrunk the planned rate of legislation for 2015 by 75 per cent. The more usual rate of 100 laws a year has been slashed to just 23 in the pipeline for this year. See here for the EEB’s reaction.
 EEB together with other NGOs from across Europe have launched a public e-action “Nature Alert” asking people to participate in the EU Public Consultation and call on the Commission to defend EU Nature Directives: http://www.eeb.org/index.cfm/activities/biodiversity-nature/biodiversity/nature-alert/. During the first week over 100,000 people joined the call. Twitter messages are sent to President Juncker, VP Timmermans and European Environment Commissioner Vella with the hashtag #NatureAlert.
The EEB last week sent a letterto European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to call for “effective and ambitious new laws to tackle the real challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, overconsumption of resources and protection of human health”.
A group of more than 50 non-governmental organisations, including the EEB, have set up a Better Regulation Watchdog to keep an eye on the Commission. The Watchdog will work to ensure that better regulation means laws to improve social, environmental, labour, consumer, economic and public health standards for citizens and an inclusive and competitive Europe founded on economic, social and environmental sustainability.