On 1 December 2015 in Brussels, MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik presented her study on the implementation of Natura 2000 in the Netherlands, entitled “A Trapped Country”. Being both a Dutch MEP and a member of the EP Ceramics Forum, she is well aware of the brick industry’s frustrations with the interpretation of N2000 in the Netherlands. She referred to the industry’s WWF-approved practice of creating new high-end wetlands out of clay pits as an example to be followed. However, as pointed out by KNB Director Ewald L.J. van Hal, the implementation of the N2000 framework challenges these practices. He further emphasised the economic, social and cultural importance of the brick industry in the areas covered by N2000.
Later in December, Mr van Hal met with ALDE MEP Jan Huitema and Nicola Notaro, European Commission Director Nature of DG Environment. The meeting aimed to establish contact and exchange knowledge but also provided an opportunity to address Natura 2000. The subject will likely be debated at EU level under the Dutch EU Presidency in the first half of 2016.