Soil monitoring and resilience directive

Briefing 17-05-2024

Currently, there is no EU-wide legislation specifically on soil, although many policy instruments relevant to soil protection are in place. Under the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission presented a new EU soil strategy for 2030, with the aim of having all EU soil ecosystems in a healthy condition by 2050. To achieve this objective, on 5 July 2023 it tabled a proposal for a soil monitoring and resilience directive, laying down measures for monitoring and assessing soil health, based on a common definition of what constitutes healthy soil, for managing soils sustainably, and for tackling contaminated sites. While stakeholders agree on the need for a soil monitoring framework, concerns have been raised about the indicators chosen to describe and assess soil health, provisions on land take, the lack of a roadmap, plans and intermediate targets to achieve the overarching 2050 objective, application of the polluter pays principle, and funding available to support land owners and managers. Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), responsible for the file, adopted its report on 11 March 2024. On 10 April 2024, Parliament adopted its position at first reading, based on the amended ENVI report. The Council has yet to agree its general approach. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.