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Parliamentary questions
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4 February 2020
E-003873/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003873/2019

The primary responsibility for correctly implementing EC law lies with Member States. The Commission expects therefore that the Member States adequately address all significant pressures on habitats and species covered by the Nature Directives(1) including in light of the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU in Joined Cases C-293/17 and C-294/17 dated 7 November 2018(2).

The thresholds used in the Dutch Programmatic Approach to Nitrogen for deciding whether a project required an appropriate assessment and a permit were tailor-made to pollution levels in the Netherlands. The Commission cannot exclude that the limit values applied by other Member States are incompatible with the Nature Directives.

In case the Commission established that this is the case, it would take appropriate action including the launch of infringement procedures if necessary. The Commission services are already discussing this issue with Member States’ authorities in the framework of the ‘Nature dialogues’.

(1)Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC, OJ L 206, 22.07.1992, p. 7, Birds Directive 2009 /147/EC, OJ L 20, 26.01.2010, p. 7.
(2) OJ 2019/ C 16, 14.01.2019, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:62017CA0293
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