Discussions on the draft Soil Framework Directive have been ongoing at official level since the German presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2007. DEFRA officials have taken part in bilateral meetings with like-minded and other member states to explain UK concerns. Discussions have also been held at ministerial level with a number of member states, including the Czech Republic, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Member states were unable to reach a common position at the Environment Council in December 2007. Since then, the UK has continued to engage in discussions both officially and at ministerial level, and will continue actively to do so in the light of the Czech presidency’s indication that it intends to seek political agreement at the June 2009 Environment Council.