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Consultation on Future EU co-financing of Natura 2000

Policy field(s)


Target group(s)

Citizens, organizations, public authorities

Period of consultation

                        From 26.11.2010  to 17.02.2011

Objective of the consultation

Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected areas in the world comprised of nearly 26,000 sites and covering almost 18% of the total EU terrestrial environment as well as substantial marine areas. It is the cornerstone of EU biodiversity policy and has a key role to play in achieving the 2020 and 2050 EU biodiversity target and vision, aimed at halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Although Natura 2000 includes many nature reserves it is based on a much wider concept of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

As the establishment of Natura 2000 is at an advanced stage the next period will be critical to making the network fully operational through the effective management and restoration of the sites. This need for action is underlined by the 2009 conservation status assessment under the Habitats Directive, which has shown that only 17% of species and habitats of EU concern are in good health. Therefore, in order to ensure a good conservation status and an adequate management of the network, a significant and measurable improvement is now required over the period up to 2020.

This will not happen without adequate financial investments in Natura 2000. While the main responsibility for financing Natura 2000 lies with the Member States, Article 8 of the Habitats Directive explicitly links delivery of the priority conservation measures to the provision of EU co-financing.

The current approach, set out in a Communication titled "Financing Natura 2000" [COM(2004)431 final] – is to integrate the funding needs of Natura 2000 into different EU financial instruments. This has met with limited success and the Council of Environment Ministers has invited the Commission, in collaboration with Member States, to assess whether the integrated approach has been adequate for the effective implementation of the network

The European Commission is working towards a new Communication, foreseen for mid-2011, aimed at identifying ways of enhancing the success of financing Natura 2000. The objective of this consultation is to gather the views of different stakeholders as an input to this process.

How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

  • If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, please click here to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire

Reference documents and other, related consultations

European Commission's website – Natura 2000

Contact details

responsible service

Environment Directorate – General - Natura 2000 Unit (B3)


postal address

European Commission – Avenue de Beaulieu 5– 1049 Brussels - Belgium

View the contributions

In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.

Results of consultation

Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement