Tuesday, 07 April 2015
Belgium, especially Wallonia and Brussels, are delaying the protection of fragile species and habitats. The European Commission sent them a warning letter at the end of March, Le Soir said on Tuesday. It mainly concerns the Natura 2000 network. This network is made up of sites where member States must protect habitats and species under threat.
Wallonia, which contains 240 such sites, should have taken the necessary measures “on the 7th of December 2010 at the latest”, the European Commission said in its letter. At this moment in time, only 54 sites have become the subject of legislation. “The protective measures needed have not been taken”, says the European Commission, who also pointed out failings in Brussels. Wallonia has said several times that all the sites are under temporary protection, which prevents further damage. But the European Commission is not convinced by this argument.
Belgium has two months to pass on its observations. After that, it risks formal warnings and being brought before the European Court of Justice.