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IP/10/1231

Brussels, 30 September 2010

Environment: Commission asks Romania to comply with bird protection rules

The European Commission is asking Romania to ensure that its bird protection legislation is fully compliant with EU law. The Commission is concerned that the hunting periods designated under Romanian law coincide with periods of special protection. Romania has two months to comply with the reasoned opinion, failing which the Commission may refer Romania to the EU's Court of Justice.

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The Birds Directive is a key element in EU nature legislation. I therefore urge Romania to bring their legislation into line with EU law."

Ensuring that hunting is sustainable

The Commission is sending Romania a Reasoned Opinion for its failure to comply with EU legislation on hunting birds. The Commission's view is that the hunting periods established in Romanian legislation do not ensure the full protection regime as required by the Directive.

The Birds Directive is the EU’s oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, creating a comprehensive protection scheme for all wild bird species that occur naturally inside the Union. The areas covered by the Directive make up part of Natura 2000, the EU's network of protected natural zones. The Directive recognises hunting as a legitimate activity and provides a comprehensive system for the management of hunting to ensure that this practice is sustainable. This includes a requirement to ensure that birds are not hunted during the periods of their greatest vulnerability, such as the return migration to the nesting areas, reproduction and the raising of chicks.

For current statistics on infringements in general see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/implementation_en.htm

More details on nature policy: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/index_en.htm

MEMO/10/457


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