June 21st, 2016
Twenty five Irish Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are among over 300 European SMEs that signed up to a Declaration of Support for the Birds and Habitats Directives.
The Birds and Habitats Directives are under threat of being weakened as part of the Fitness Check process currently underway within the European Commission. Environmental NGOs campaigning on the issue, such as BirdWatch Ireland, warn that since the EU is operating in a context of deregulation, the fitness check could likely lead to the weakening of nature laws in the EU.
Irish businesses largely from rural areas and operating in various sectors, such as tourism, health and well-being, farming, ecological consultancy and education signed the declaration, which states: ‘Our good business relies on good nature protection, including nature protected by EU law. Stable, effective and predictable legislation is important for us’. Representative organisations for business have also called for better implementation, saying that changing the laws now would lead to years of uncertainty which would not be good for business.
This declaration follows the public response, which called for the better implementation of the existing nature laws and not their weakening. In 2015, for example, over 520,000 European Citizens participated in the public consultation on the nature laws, saying that they are fit for purpose.