Austria condemned over bird protection rules

The European Court of Justice has condemned Austria for a third time over failures to fully implement the 1979 EU wild birds directive.

In a judgement released on Thursday the court agreed with the European Commission that Austria had failed to designate one site – Hansag in Burgenland – and to set the right boundaries for another – Niedere Tauern in Styria.

The court also finds that Austria failed to provide full legal protection for six other sites that were properly classified as special protection areas (SPAs). However, the ruling is as much of a legal set-back for the commission as for Austria since the court has rejected its complaint alleging “a general failure”.

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