Many constituents have written to me recently about the EU Nature Directives and protecting our wildlife.

 

As you may be aware, the European Commission has been carrying out a 'fitness check' for the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, together known as the 'Nature Directives'. It's objective is to find out whether the Directives are suitable for the purposes for which they were intended.

 

Further information on this check can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/index_en.htm

 

Part of this checking process involves automatically consulting certain interest groups in each EU Member State. Here in the UK these are: the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the RSPB.

 

The European Commission has also run a public consultation on it's website, which closed in the summer. I hope constituents who have contacted me about this, were able to contribute to this part of the process. The preliminary conclusions from this consultation were discussed by the European Commission at a conference on 20 November 2015, an a report containing the results of the fitness check is due to be published in early 2016.

 

As the RSPB Headquarters are located in Sandy, I am pleased to hear that the last Government had reviewed the 'Nature Directives' implementation and the important role they play, and found that nationally they are working well. They identified 28 measures that would make compliance from EU Directive to individual Member State action, simpler and these 28 measures are currently being enforced.

 

These matters are of great importance to me, as you. I am a member of the RSPB, as well as it's constituency MP, and appreciate their expertise as well as my own constituents interest.