EELC has recently contributed to a study in cooperation with Germany and Poland, which analysed implementation and impact of EU policies and legal regulation influencing the protection and restoration of peatlands. The main assessment areas were nature protection (Natura 2000) and infrastructure planning, EU water policy, agriculture (Common Agricultural Policy), rural development and structural funds, and LIFE energy policy, and climate change regulations. The study presents key findings and recommendations for each area.
The study concludes that the Natura 2000 network has a strong positive impact on the protection of European natural and semi-natural peatlands, stating that "Natura 2000 management and species action plans – required under relevant legislation – are in place for most sites offering comprehensive details on conservation status and needs. They create a knowledge space on conservation and restoration, however, strategies how to deal with potential conflicts between e.g. as-is biodiversity, on the one hand, and restoration and climate mitigation goals, on the other hand are largely missing. Impact on restoration has proved limited as the Natura 2000 largely works without a sufficient layer of finance." The study recommends to integrate Natura 2000 network and underlying protection and management regime into other policies. The study also suggests to consider climate policy goals more effectively. Regarding the environment impact assessments, the study addresses the EU to "strengthen its oversight and continue to use its enforcement powers to facilitate strict and robust application of environmental rules across the Union."
About other shortcomings, findings and recommendations have a look at the study itself "Peatlands in the EU Regulatory Environment"