These threats are obviously interlinked and do not occur in all countries of the EU. The proposed Soil Framework Directive, the binding legislative element of the Soil Thematic Strategy, requires EU member states to delineate areas at risk and to take adequate measures to revert the on-going soil degradation processes.

Lessons learnt

Where are we with the EU Soil Thematic Strategy? Since its adoption by the Commission, the Strategy has immediately entered its implementation phase. Many of the measures foreseen, like integration of soil protection criteria in other EU legislation (e.g. the Common Agricultural Policy), increased research and awareness raising activities, etc., have been consistently applied by the European Commission. Unfortunately, the binding legislative component proposed by the EC, the Soil Framework Directive, has encountered opposition by a blocking minority of EU Member States (Germany, France, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Austria) that is still preventing full adoption of the Directive in the EU Council.