A major new EU directive that will require strategic environmental assessments of land-use plans and similar programmes took effect on 21 July, following political finalisation earlier this year (EED 03/05/01). Member states must now transpose the rules into national law by 21 July 2004. Environmental group Birdlife International welcomed entry-into-force, saying that the directive demonstrated a "real commitment to sustainable development". See full text of the directive and Birdlife International press release.
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