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09.11.2010 / News - EU Level

ENCORE report on financing Natura 2000 management

ENCORE initiated a survey on the difficulties in co-financing of the management of the Natura 2000 network.

The Environmental Conference of the European Regions (ENCORE) initiated a survey on the difficulties encountered by the European regions, which are directly responsible for the application of Directive 92/43/EEC, to co-finance the management of the Natura 2000 network. Eleven regions from seven countries have answered the questionnaires with eleven questions about basically characteristics of the Natura 2000 surface, financial aspects and the difficulties encountered by the regions for the integrated application of the community funds.
Beside many other results presented in the report the main conclusions are the following:
-    In 2009, the average management cost per hectare is €7.25 and the average community co-financing percentage is 19.3%.
-    In 2009 the Regions as a whole only use 3 of the 7 available funds, ERDF, EAFRD and LIFE+.
-    The fund that is currently providing larger co-financing amount is EAFRD, which trebles the importance of ERDF and is thirteen times greater than LIFE+.
-    The majority of the expenses, 77.5%, are earmarked for management actions, 12.8% for management plans and 4.5% for occasional investments.
-    It is observed that the co-financing percentage has dropped from 41% during the 2004-2008 period to the current 19.3% (2009).
-    The variety of funds used has also decreased: going from 6 in the 2004-2008 period to 3 in 2009.
-    During the entire period, the most commonly used funds in frequency have been ERDF, LIFE, EAFRD and INTERREG, in that order, while these funds do not offer the highest amount used by the Regions.
With specific regard on the funding through ERDF the report summarizes difficulties in the application procedure arise on the one hand from the fact that only some of the territories are eligible, and on the other hand, from their inapplicability to numerous, fundamental management actions, such as the monitoring, protection and recovery of threatened species (which is also the case of the other structural funds).