The Netherlands holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2016; in that role, the Dutch intend to “focus on the essentials”, promoting growth and creating jobs through innovation and connecting with civil society.
Four specific issues relating to forests figure on their list of priorities, three of them concerning the FLEGT Action Plan.
These include: taking action based on the outcome of the special report of the European Court of Auditors regarding EU support to timber-producing countries under the FLEGT Action Plan; the evaluation of the EU Timber Regulation, in order to strengthen its implementation; and the evaluation of the EU FLEGT Action Plan.
The Dutch Presidency aims to build on FLEGT’s successes while remedying difficulties that have emerged during the decade of its existence.
The fourth priority is the development of an EU Action Plan on Deforestation (see article, above). Five Council Working Party meetings on forestry will take place in the coming months to work on these priorities with EU member states.