New protected areas: cross-border cooperation in the Commission’s criteria

On 28 January, the European Commission published the "criteria and guidance" aimed at supporting Member States in identifying and designating new protected areas, with an objective of legally protecting 30% of land in the EU by 2030. The added value of cross-border cooperation is highlighted in them.

"The strategy highlights the importance of setting up ecological corridors in order to have a truly coherent and resilient Trans-European Nature Network, and of promoting and supporting investments in green and blue infrastructure, as well as cross-border cooperation among Member States […]."

Concerning the criteria for the identification od areas under legal protection: "in border regions there can be a significant added value of a cross-border approach, contributing to increased management effectiveness, as differing national approaches may undermine management effectiveness. Establishment of European legal bodies of a cross-border nature, such as European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs)61 , may be considered for the joint management of cross-border protected areas."

More info:

- Commission Staff Working Document: Criteria and guidance for protected areas designations, 28.01.2022
- Localtis article [FR]