EU Commission refers Bulgaria to court over failure to protect biodiversity

EU

The European Commission said on Friday that it has decided to refer Bulgaria to the Court of Justice of the European Union for not respecting its obligations under the Habitats Directive and failing to protect and manage its Natura 2000 sites.

"Bulgaria has not yet designated 194 out of 229 Sites of Community Importance as Special Areas of Conservation within the required time limit and has generally and persistently failed to set site-specific conservation objectives and measures for these sites. These are key requirements to protect biodiversity across the EU," the commission said in its November package of infringement decisions.

The Commission said that it has sent to Bulgaria a letter of formal notice in January 2019 and a reasoned opinion on the matter in July 2020. Bulgaria announced a new approach for the management of its Natura 2000 Network, which was presented to the Commission in 2017 but is still not in place, the EC said.

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