The European Court of Auditors has one today new report Explain why the state of nature at sea has not benefited from EU regulations. In short, because the EU countries did not commit any money to implement the laws.
This report follows damned publications released by the European Environment Agency earlier this year the light shine on the terrible state of nature at sea. So does the Commission reported that the EU will not have achieved good environmental status by 2020, as stated in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
This report comes at a critical time as negotiations on the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) continue – and it only reinforces what BirdLife has said the whole time: stop wasting citizen taxes on harmful subsidies and invest in nature where the possibilities are endless; Supporting local communities, creating jobs and restoring nature.
The money that comes from the EMFF is being spent, but governments choose to spend it and, as the European Court of Justice’s auditors point out, it has not yet been spent on protecting nature at sea. One recently report from Croatia shows the extreme nature of this problem, where no EMFF euro was spent on nature conservation between 2014 and 2018.
While governments pay lip service to spending on nature, they ask for that flexibility to later decide how to spend the money so they don’t have to report on how they spent it. This is nonsense that goes against good governance. Given the recent decision to track biodiversity spending, they must do so anyway.
Governments who don’t want to fence off 25% of the EMFF – which is nowhere near enough to save nature at sea – actually say that while they like to talk about their commitments to nature, they don’t want to enforce laws, which becomes one actual protection of the marine environment.