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September 24, 2021

EC to sue Romania for failure to protect wild birds

EC decided on Thursday to notify the European Court of Justice in the case of Romania, estimating that the authorities have failed repeatedly to offer adequate protection to the wild birds, because they haven’t created the number of areas for the protection of the birds, which they had pledged to do at the time of accession.

“Over one million hectares designated initially for protection have not yet received the legal status that they need. Considering that the warning letters did not have the desired effect, the Commission decided to take tougher measures and bring this case before Court,” also reads the press release of the European Commission, quoted by Mediafax.

EC notes that there are 12 species in Romania considered threatened at international level. “When Romania adhered to the European Union, in 2007, it was obliged to establish a number of areas for the protection of the birds, but the legislative process was slow, and, in spite of some progresses, Romania has not yet fulfilled certain obligations assumed in connection with the conservation of nature,” the Commission recalls.

“The birds are the barometer of biodiversity, so it is vital to protect their habitats adequately. The biodiversity is a precious resource, and we waste it at our risk. For this reason, I urgently request Romania to remedy these deficiencies and assure without delay the necessary protection,” said Stavros Dimas, European Commissioner for environment. “By virtue of the European Treaty, the repeated violation of the obligations which derive from the European legislation can conduct to the appearance in court of a member state,” reads the press release.

In retort, the interim environment minister Elena Udrea showed that the problems connected with this issue will be settled as soon as the draft law regarding the reorganization of some institutions from the public administration “is passed by the Constitutional Court,” moment when a division will be set up within the ministry that will handle the problem. Udrea stated that the National Agency for Protected Areas, set up over two years ago and which is dismantled subject to the reorganization law, “has never functioned.”

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