SIP Forum: Indispensable elements in a European soil directive

Internal research has started in the SIP Forum on the future proposal for a European Soil Directive expected before the end of 2021. The GSE [European Soil Group] has initiated a consultation in various phases, the first of which was the gathering of ideas to be included in the directive. This has led to a large number of suggestions with which to carry out the initial analysis.

For now the following have emerged as essential elements of the new directive:

Democratic Control / Participation

  • Act swiftly to combat illegal building and illegal soil use, based on participation and monitoring by volunteers and other interested parties.
  • Encourage democratic participation in the planning process by citizens and their organizations.


  • Encourage scientific understanding of the soil and ecosystems through environmental and social courses integrated into school curricula.

Guiding Principles

  • With the soil, the “time” factor cannot be compressed.
  • It is essential to use soils in function of their type of land capability and to avoid and prohibit any action that brings with it a change in the land capability.
  • Complete halt to any further soil sealing from 2030.
  • Social function of  private property.


  • Carry out actions to reverse over-building and soil sealing and renaturalize the soil.
  • Make censuses of building and infrastructure obligatory.

We ask all our readers to take part in this drive for analysis and to send us their ideas and comments at suolo.europa@gmail.com. The submissions will be analysed by the whole of the GSE.

If anyone would like to take part directly in this study/analysis process, they should let us know at suolo.europa@gmail.com in order to be included in the study group.