Prioritised Action Frameworks (PAFs) are strategic multiannual planning tools, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the measures that are needed to implement the EU-wide Natura 2000 network and its associated green infrastructure, specifying the financing needs for these measures, and linking them to the corresponding European Union’s (EU) funding programmes. In line with the objectives of the EU Habitats Directive on which the Natura 2000 network is based, the measures to be identified in the PAFs shall mainly be designed “to maintain and restore, at a favourable conservation status, natural habitats and species of EU importance, whilst taking account of economic, social and cultural requirements and regional and local characteristics“.
The legal basis for the PAF is Article 8 (1) of the Habitats Directive1, which requires the EU Member States to send, as appropriate, to the Commission their estimates relating to the EU co-financing which they consider necessary to meet their following obligations in relation to Natura 2000:
1) to establish the necessary conservation measures involving, if need be, appropriate management plans specifically designed for the sites or integrated into other development plans,
2) to establish appropriate statutory, administrative, or contractual measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II present on the sites.