Natura 2000 Network: A Comparison of the Italian and Dutch Implementation Experiences

Francesca Ferranti*, Raoul Beunen, Maria Speranza

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    55 Citations (Web of Science)


    The implementation of Natura 2000, Ecological Network of protected areas established in the European territory under Council Directive 92/43/EEC, has encountered serious problems in many European States. This is proven by conspicuous juridical interventions initiated by the European Union against Member States failing to comply with the Directive's requirements; by the aversion of stakeholders involved in the use of protected areas and by the criticisms that environmental non-governmental organizations expressed about the governmental approaches towards the network's realization. This paper presents a critical reflection on the problems in the realization of Natura 2000 Network, by analysing and comparing the experiences of two Member States: the Netherlands and Italy. Despite the differences in national natural heritages and nature conservation policy traditions, the two Natura 2000 implementation processes present interesting similarities. These allowed the authors to identify theoretical and practical obstacles that are making the network's implementation problematic and to reflect on the most important challenges to the realization of Natura 2000 Network in the two countries, as well as in other Member States that experienced similar implementation problems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293-314
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Environmental Policy & Planning
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2010


    • Natura 2000 Network implementation
    • Habitats Directive
    • nature conservation policy
    • nature conservation legislation
    • Italy
    • The Netherland
    • POLICY


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