ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the requirements for the protection of species under Articles 12 to 16 and Annexes IV and V of the Habitats Directive, trends in the interpretation and enforcement of these requirements, and ongoing open questions. Amongst other things, the chapter discusses the Court of Justice of the EU’s (CJEU) leading decisions in Cases C-674/17 Tapiola (wolf hunting in Finland), C-441/17 Commission v Poland (Białowieża Forest), and Joined Cases C-473/19 and C-474/19 Skydda Skogen (strict protection of species in Sweden). The chapter concludes that, despite some political pressure, the trend seems to continue towards stricter interpretation and application of the Habitats Directive’s provisions on species protection by the CJEU and the European Commission.