Belgium admonished over habitats directive

Belgium has been taken to task over its failure to transpose the 1992 habitats directive. A reasoned opinion from the European court of justice upheld the European Commission's claim that the Brussels regional administration had failed to inform it of measures taken to implement special areas of conservation, as required by the directive. The advocate general rejected Belgium's argument that this was not obligatory. Furthermore, he added, only the Commission was in a position to co-ordinate the Natura 2000 network, a central component of the directive, and therefore notification was crucial. See opinion C-324/01.

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