Draft-Law on Protected Areas in Non-Compliance with EU Directives

On Friday, Civil Society Organizations participated in a meeting called for by Ms. Jorida Tabaku, Chair of the European Affairs Committee as well as Chair of the National Council of European Integration. The meeting, previously urged by a letter from 28 CSOs addressed to the Parliament, aimed at discussing the draft-law proposed to the Parliament on amendments to Law 81/2017 “on Protected Areas” as well as the concerns regarding the non-compliance of these amendments with European Union Directives.

The meeting was especially focused on the need for analysis of the draft-law in the European Affairs Committee, the rebuttal of the amendments by the present CSOs, analyzing the main issues of the draft-law, as well as highlighting its non-compliance with Directives (especially the Birds and Habitats Directives) and accordance with European legislation. Furthermore, there was a discussion on the strategy for future actions of the Protected Areas cause.

Representatives from the CSOs present in the meeting expressed their comments and concerns regarding the undergoing process as well as the draft-law itself, highlighting the importance of maintaining European standards and compliance of national law with European Union requirements. Protected areas are oases of nature and drivers of the country’s development; thus, for a consultative, inclusive and democratic process, all future steps and actions were shared in the meeting.

This occasion shows the Civil Society’s continuous efforts in contributing to the improvement of the country’s legal framework, accordance of legislation with European standards, highlighting the importance of dialogue and collaboration of all stakeholders, which guarantees good governance, transparency in decision making and zero corruption.

In conclusion, we call for the draft-law proposed by the group of MPs to not proceed for voting during the plenary session on 15 February.

AOS with regards of Protected Areas is implementing the ” Protecting National Parks Through Innovative System Use, Interpretation and Adaptation (PA-BAT+)”  with the support of “SMART Balkans – Civil Society for Shared Society in the Western Balkans” regional project implemented by Centar za promocijucivilnog društva (CPCD)Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) and Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) and financially supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA).