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Parliamentary questions
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29 March 2019
E-000783/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000783/2019

The Commission recognises the ecological importance of European wetlands and is aware of the severe pressures that threaten their conservation. In its capacity as Guardian of the treaties, the Commission oversees the correct implementation of EU rules aiming at the protection of wetlands, from both the perspective of water resource management (Water Framework Directive(1)) and that of nature conservation (Habitats Directive(2) and Birds Directive(3)). However, it is for Member States to assess the condition of the wetlands within their territory in accordance with those obligations, as they have the primary responsibility for implementing EC law correctly.

For an overview of the condition of EU wetlands designated as Natura 2000 sites, the Commission kindly invites the Honourable Member to consult the European database on Natura 2000 sites(4), which compiles the data submitted by Member States to the Commission and validated by the European Environment Agency (EEA) for each of the designated Natura 2000 sites.

Action 5 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020(5) calls Member States to map and assess the state of ecosystems, including wetlands, in their national territory with the assistance of the Commission. This process is still ongoing. The Fifth ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’ (MAES) Report(6) provides operational guidance to the EU and the Member States on how to assess the condition of Europe's ecosystems.

For a specific assessment of the condition of the Ebro Delta Wetlands, the Commission refers to the information included in the relevant River Basin Management Plan(7), adopted by the Spanish authorities pursuant to the Water Framework Directive.

(1)Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy — OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1‐73.
(2)Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora — OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7‐50.
(3)Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds — OJ L 20, 26.1.2010, p. 7‐25.
(4)https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/natura-9
(5)COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 /* COM/2011/0244 final */
(6)http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/knowledge/ecosystem_assessment/pdf/5th%20MAES%20report.pdf
(7)Plan Hidrológico de la Cuenca del Ebro 2015-2021, adopted by Real Decreto 1/2016, de 8 de enero, por el que se aprueba la revisión de los Planes Hidrológicos de las demarcaciones hidrográficas del Cantábrico Occidental, Guadalquivir, Ceuta, Melilla, Segura y Júcar, y de la parte española de las demarcaciones hidrográficas del Cantábrico Oriental, Miño-Sil, Duero, Tajo, Guadiana y Ebro.

Last updated: 4 April 2019Legal notice