The European Commission has announced that it is suing Bulgaria for the country’s inability to protect and manage its Natura 2000 sites.
The European Commission decided today to bring an action before the Court of Justice of the European Union against Bulgaria for non-compliance with its obligations under the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43 / EEC).
Once Member States have registered their sites of Community importance, they have six years to designate those areas as special protection areas. They are also obliged to establish conservation objectives that are specific to each territory and to introduce the necessary conservation measures aimed at the conservation or restoration of protected species and habitats in the territories, so as to achieve a favorable conservation status.
Bulgaria has not yet designated 194 of the 229 sites of Community importance for special protection areas within the mandatory deadline; also, the state systematically and consistently fails to fulfill its obligation to establish site-specific conservation objectives and conservation measures. These requirements are key to the conservation of biodiversity in the EU.
In January 2019, the Commission sent a formal notification letter to Bulgaria, and in July 2020 – a reasoned opinion on the issue. She considers that the efforts made so far by the Bulgarian authorities are unsatisfactory and insufficient, and is suing the state before the Court of Justice.