The Joint Links coalition, which is made of organizations like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and more, warns that European Union (EU) environmental laws, which protect species and their habitats, are now in threat due to European Commission's (EC) REFIT "Fitness Check" on the Birds and Habitats Directives.

The Joint Links group debate that the EU Directives are under a great threat of getting weakened by people and organizations who believe these Directives are a block on economic and business growth.

The Directives have protected species and habitat for several decades, and any revisions may expose them to long-term uncertainty. The Joint Links group believes that short-term political priorities pose a threat to long-term biodiversity goals of Europe and the UK.

"Uncertainty over the future of the directives resulting from the 'fitness check' review could be bad for nature, bad for people and bad for business," says Kate Jennings, the chairwoman of the Joint Links habitats and birds group.

She added that EU laws are the foundation of conservation efforts of the nature across Europe. The laws protect the nature and provide significant economic and social benefits.

Karmenu Vella, who is the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, says the Fitness Check is to ensure that protective and effective legislation is present to produce better results. Vella suggests that it is very crucial that the legislation is open and transparent. Europeans can help protect our nature by giving their valuable suggestions.

On April 30, the EU consultation has begun and it will run through July 24. The consultation will examine implementation of the laws across the EU. The consultation will also look at other important aspects such as effectiveness and costs involved.

An electronic tool called "Nature Alert" has also been launched by voluntary organizations that is encouraging people to take part in the public consultation about the directives.

"The European Commission is asking for our opinion and now is the time to make our voices heard," states Nature Alert on its website. "We must act now and say that we want these laws to be maintained, enforced and not weakened."

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