Slovakia could face action in three cases for breaching EU legislation

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Slovakia could face action in three cases for breaching EU legislation

06. 02. 2019 14:55

The Slovak Government is faced with four legal proceedings initiated by the European Commission, according to the most recent disclosure of its legal proceedings on January 24. The commission each month takes legal measures against EU-member countries that haven't fulfilled their obligations according to EU law. In three out of four of these cases, Slovakia risks facing legal action at the European Court of Justice if it doesn't remedy the situation. The three cases are connected with the natural environment, economic competition and transparency, and justice.

In the case related to the environment, the European Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Slovakia for failing to ensure appropriate natural protection, resulting in a significant drop in the bird population, specifically that of the capercaillie species. According to the 'opinion', Slovakia isn't respecting EU regulations on biotopes and birds. In particular, it disregards legal measures when adopting plans for forest management and logging in protected areas that belong to the Natura 2000 network. The commission came to the conclusion that Slovakia hasn't adopted sufficient management plans for specific protected regions or protective measures for species that a regulation on birds requires. Slovakia has two months to remedy the situation or the commission could pass the case on to the European Court of Justice.

Controversial decisions by the Slovak Agriculture Ministry have been a focus of environmental groups since 2004, when accelerated logging began in the region of the Tatras. The logging began in the aftermath of a wind storm that resulted in the destruction of large areas of spruce tree forest. In 2007, inspectors from the European Commission came to Slovakia to ensure that certain protected areas that had been identified by such groups would not subjected to extensive logging. In the most current proceedings, the commission also appealed to Slovakia and another eight countries to intensify the carrying out of an EU directive on invasive non-indigenous species.

Jonathan McCormick, Photo: AP/TASR

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