The Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives: A discourse analysis of stakeholders' perspectives

Francesca Ferranti*, Raoul Beunen, Pau Vericat, Maria Geitzenauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


In 2015, the European Union's Birds and Habitats Directives underwent an evaluation in which selected national stakeholders provided their perspectives on the directives' implementation. Analyzing the views of different stakeholder groups from eight European member states, this study found that these views could be synthesized into three more general perspectives. The first perspective focuses on problems, indicating that these are caused by legislative drawbacks in the directives. The second perspective holds that problems are generated by improper implementation by member states. The third perspective commends the benefits of the directives in face of the existing implementation problems. Interest groups and to a minor extent governmental bodies espoused the first perspective, and environmental non-governmental organizations especially favored the third. The struggle between these three perspectives reflects ongoing debates regarding positive and negative aspects of the directives and possibilities for improving their implementation. We conclude that the relevance and impact of conservation policies should never be seen as self-evident. In order to reach the conservation goals envisaged, continuous efforts are needed to enforce and maintain environmental legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Early online date16 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Biodiversity policy
  • Bottom-up dynamics
  • European Union
  • Implementation experiences
  • NATURA 2000
  • Natura 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'The Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives: A discourse analysis of stakeholders' perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this