Enforcement against Ireland in relation to designation of Special Areas of Conservation
Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001 and Regulation 1367/2006, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
I note that formal notice has now been published of enforcement proceedings taken against Ireland in relation to the designation of Special Areas of Conservation:
In particular the following is claimed:
First, Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Art. 4(4) of the Directive by not designating as SAC as soon as possible and within a maximum period of six years all the 423 sites listed in the aforementioned Commission Decisions. This omission concerned 217 sites by the end of the period laid down in the additional reasoned opinion.
Secondly, Ireland has failed to comply with Art. 4(4) of the Directive by not setting site-specific conservation objectives for every of the 423 sites in question. This omission concerned 140 sites by the end of the period laid down in the additional reasoned opinion.
Thirdly, Ireland has failed to establish the necessary conservation measures that correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II pursuant to Art. 6(1) of the Directive for the 423 sites covered by this infringement. Ireland’s practice with regard to conservation measures has led to a situation in which none of the 423 sites covered by this infringement had by the end of the period laid down in the additional reasoned opinion conservation measures corresponding to the legal requirements of Art. 6(1) of the Directive. Many sites had no conservation measures at all. Other sites had conservation measures for only a subset of the relevant Annex I natural habitat types and Annex II species significantly present in the sites. Furthermore, a large number of sites lacked conservation measures based on site-specific clearly defined conservation objectives. In addition, Ireland also generally and persistently failed to comply with Art. 6(1) of the Directive by establishing conservation measures that are not sufficiently precise and detailed and fail to address all significant pressures and threats.
I would like to receive a list of the 217 sites that are claimed not to have been designated and the 140 sites that are claimed not to have site-specific conservation objectives set in accordance with Art 4(4) of the Habitats Directive.
I note that there may be a presumption against access to documents on an enforcement file and that Art 4(2) second indent Regulation 1049/2001 may be invoked. If that is the case I make the following comments by way of justification/overriding public interest.
First only a list of the sites at issue is sought. I am not seeking anything by way of access to the enforcement correspondence or the pleadings in the case but simply a list of sites that are subject to enforcement.
Second, In principle this information is already in the public domain but is laborious to collate since it would required visiting and reviewing the supporting documentation for all 423 sites of Community Interest.
Third, there is a strong public interest in accessing the list of sites at this point so that the fact of enforcement can be identified to relevant competent authorities who are tasked with carrying out appropriate assessment in relation to these sites.
Therefore there is an overriding public interest based on a high degree of environmental protection arising from this request.
Many thanks for considering this request.
8/10 Coke Lane
GESTDEM 2021/5649 - Acknowledgement of receipt - access to documents
request - Enforcement against Ireland in relation to designation of
Special Areas of Conservation - Ares(2021)5743274 (Please use this link
only if you are an Ares user – Svp, utilisez ce lien exclusivement si vous
êtes un(e) utilisateur d’Ares)
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Access to Documents Team
Dear ENV ACCESS DOCUMENTS,
I wonder if you could let me know if you intend responding to my request for access to documents. I was informed that the deadline would be 11 October 2021. Many thanks
Dear Mr Logue,
Thank you for your message and the kind reminder you sent.
Please be informed that the reply is in the final stage and that you will receive a reply within a short period of time.
Thank you for your understanding.