Cyprus in difficulty with the EU for non-protection of Natura 2000 sites
Cyprus was among a number of EU member states targeted by infringement proceedings on Wednesday, notably for its failure to take the necessary measures to protect and manage its Natura 2000 networks.
The committee said it called on Cyprus to comply with the obligations of the Habitats Directive obliging it to propose European Sites of Community Importance (SCI) which are then added to the EU’s biogeographical lists.
Within six years of this listing, Member States must designate SCIs as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), establish conservation objectives and measures to maintain or restore protected species and habitats present in the sites.
The committee stated that out of its 37 SCIs, Cyprus failed to designate three SCIs as SACs and the remaining 34 are unsatisfactory.
“In addition, no conservation targets have been set for three special conservation areas and those set for the other 34 SACs do not meet the requirements of the directive because, for example,” they are too vague or do not identify correctly species and habitats. they’re supposed to target, ”the commission said.
“Cyprus has also not defined conservation measures for 33 SACs, and those established for four SACs are too general to ensure that species and habitats are properly protected,” he added.
Cyprus was also dismissed along with 18 other member states for failing to develop an action plan to prevent and manage the introduction and spread of invasive alien species – plants and animals that rival native species and can have serious environmental and economic consequences.
Apart from the environment, infringement procedures have also been launched in the field of transport, one concerning an alert mechanism within civil aviation in matters of safety. The second concerns the standardization of the rules of the game in the port sector, legal security for port operators and the creation of a climate more conducive to effective public and private investment.
Cyprus also failed to communicate national measures transposing EU rules on worker protection in the sea fishing sector, the committee said.
The Directive guarantees decent working conditions for fishermen on board fishing vessels with regard to minimum requirements for work on board, conditions of service, accommodation and food, safety and health protection at work , medical care and social security.
“The Cypriot authorities did not submit the requested information on time, nor following a letter of formal notice issued on January 24, 2020,” the committee said.