Germany in trouble over habitats directive

European court advisor recommends guilty verdict for non-transposition of EU law

An advocate general (advisor) to the European Court of Justice has recommended that Germany be found guilty of failing to properly transpose the 1992 EU habitats directive into national law. In an opinion delivered last week, the advisor notes that the European Commission began legal proceedings against Germany in 1994, and that the country has more recently "expressly admitted its failure to adopt all the necessary provisions to comply with the directive". A spokesperson for the German environment ministry confirmed today that the absence of complete transposition of the directive into national law had been admitted. Germany was facing difficulties due to its 16 states having competence over the issue as well as the federal government, he said. A new federal nature protection law would eventually adequately transpose the directive, but was held up in the German parliament. The court opinion comes little more than a week after the European Commission launched legal proceedings against two-thirds of EU member countries - including Germany - alleging failure to supply complete lists of special areas to be protected as required under the habitats directive (ENDS Daily 17 October).

Follow Up:
European Court of Justice, tel: +352 43031. References: European Court case C-83/97.

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