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Title (Primary) The terms “project” and “plan” in the Natura 2000 appropriate assessment
Author Möckel, S.;
Journal Nature Conservation-Bulgaria
Year 2017
Department UPR;
Issue 23
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T12;
Keywords European Union (EU); Natura 2000; appropriate assessment; impact assessment; Article 6(3) Habitats Directive; legal term definitions; project; plan; agriculture; forestry; recurrent measures; case law; ECJ; Germany; BVerwG
UFZ wide themes RU6;
Abstract The Natura 2000 appropriate assessment for impacting projects or plans under Article 6(3) HD is the
central statutory instrument for the protection of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and the Special
Protection Areas (SPA). The decisive factor in whether or not an appropriate assessment is required depends
on the question of whether a project or plan is present within the meaning of Article 6(3) of the
Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC1 (HD). The Habitats Directive does not define these terms in any more
detail, which is why they must be specified more closely through interpretation. This paper will present the
definitions given by the European Court of Justice (ECJ)2 case law and national courts like the German
Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG)3 and discuss the consequences and practical scope of the terms.
The focus of the following investigation will be on the term “project”. This is because for “plans”, the
envisaged projects are essentially also decisive, given that only these can have significant adverse effects on
the conservation objectives. There are a variety of questions regarding when a human activity constitutes
a project and under which conditions Member States could exempt activities from the requirement for an
assessment. This article will start with an outline of the temporal scope of the appropriate assessment and,
following this, briefly explore the scope of plans or projects directly connected with or necessary to the
management of the site, as they are not the subject of an assessment.
ID 19431
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Möckel, S. (2017):
The terms “project” and “plan” in the Natura 2000 appropriate assessment
Nat. Conserv.-Bulgaria (23), 31 - 56