Member states wary over Natura funding plan
EU governments have reacted cautiously to a European Commission plan to alter funding arrangements for the Natura 2000 network of protected wildlife sites. In July the Commission said it wanted to integrate Natura financing into existing structural and rural development funds (EED 26/07/04). A council of ministers document reveals opposition from some member states. Several others will give their support only if satisfied with a separate Commission initiative to overhaul the EU's Life programme, which could mean an end to Life funding for nature protection. See council note.