The Natura 2000 network is a key element of the EU’s strategy to halt biodiversity loss. The network includes thousands of sites protecting diverse natural habitats and species, all over the EU. Our audit recognised the major role played by Natura 2000 in protecting biodiversity, but found that significant progress is still needed if the EU’s ambitious goals to protect biodiversity are to be met. Member States were not managing the network well enough; EU funding was not well mobilised; and there was a lack of comprehensive information on its effectiveness. The Court therefore makes a number of recommendations aimed at fully implementing the network, clarifying the funding framework, and measuring results.
Special Report No 1/2017: More efforts needed to implement the Natura 2000 network to its full potential