EU Soil Directive – The dance has begun … but where’s the music?

The journey has begun that should lead to the drawing up of the new European directive on the soil before the end of 2023. The path to be followed is a winding one, full of “potholes” and even “ambushes”. The Commission has restarted the “dance” with a public consultation (16 February – 16 March 2022), on the general principles illustrated for an impact assessment on “Soil Health – protecting, sustainably managing and restoring EU soils”. The texts are available in all EU languages.

What is the Commission trying to do with this action?

“The Commission wants to ensure that the general public interest across the EU is well reflected in the impact assessment and the proposal for a soil health law by collecting feedback, ideas, information and opinions including policy briefs, studies, data on the drivers and the extent of the problem, costs and impacts, policy objectives and options.”

So why do we call it a dance without music?

Following the launch of the Strategy we expected discussions, meetings, debates, assessments, initiatives relating to the text for a directive; for us that is the music for this dance.

Collecting feedback, ideas, information and opinions from all and sundry on what has already been done with regard to the Strategy seems to us to be just continuing to circle around the problem, reducing the time available for the various actors involved to put their case. It is no longer acceptable to mark time: the conditions need to be created for a dialogue with those who are preparing traps and tricks. Last June the SIP Forum showed in its small way that dialogue between different interlocutors is possible.