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Eurocrats have paid more than £ 515,000 for the project to check whether the species of winged insects living inside the block are at risk of extinction. The bizarre program will examine more than 2,200 species of moths, with experts to draw up a special “Red List” to assess “extinction risks.” An official EU document, viewed by Express.co.uk, says: ‘It will support a better understanding of moth status and trends and help set priorities for conservation measures and action Politics.

“Moths are one of the four main groups of pollinators, alongside bees, hoverflies and butterflies.

“The number of moth species in Europe is estimated at around 8,000.”

But the project has been ridiculed as a waste of taxpayer money.

German MEP Nicolaus Fest said: “Many national and international organizations monitor and protect animals, so I don’t see the added value of EU funding when there is already an abundance of information.

EU has been criticized for spending £ 515,000 on moth list (Image: GETTY)

Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen is the President of the European Commission (Image: GETTY)

“Like a moth to a flame, taxpayer dollars are going in the same direction.”

German Gunnar Beck said: “The EU is wasting hundreds of thousands of people in a study that will undoubtedly serve as an excuse to introduce more legislation and power over elected governments.

“As with all these initiatives at EU level, it will be slow, bureaucratic and will not address any of the real issues.

“The amount of trees cut down to print these branded publications will likely do more harm to the environment.”

Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes added: “Instead of worrying about moths, which have survived millions of years, according to science, the EU should have spent this money on issues such as youth unemployment.

“But isn’t it surprising that Eurocrats are more concerned with insects than people?

“In Romania, for example, they stopped the money for a highway because they feared it would affect the habitat of cockroaches on the road.

Nicholas Day

German MEP Nicolaus Fest slams spending (Photo: YOUTUBE)

“This proves, once again, that everything else is more important to the EU than the people.”

The Red List will eventually be published in a document “of about 35 to 45 pages” and distributed to “policy makers and the interested public”.

A two-page leaflet will also be produced, in English, French and German, for distribution.

As a first step, 500 of the publications bearing the EU mark will be printed for distribution, as well as digital copies made available online.

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Cristian Terhès

Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes (Photo: EP)

A database of expert findings will also be created and will include “very specific data that has been collected and used in the assessment”.

The call for tenders document specifies: “The information collected on each species within the framework of the assessment must cover at least: taxonomy, geographical range, state of distribution in Europe (plus the map ), population, habitat and ecology, major threats, conservation measures, to other sources, bibliography, Red List category (EU and pan-European) plus justification.

The information will be made available to the European Commission and integrated into the European Biodiversity Data Center hosted by the European Environment Agency.

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The contract was won by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Brussels expects the body’s review of European moths to be completed within three years.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said: “The European Red List is the tool to assess the conservation status of species, particularly important for species that are not legally protected, covered by the Nature Directives.

It was established to understand to what extent species are threatened at EU and European level, why they are threatened and on what to focus conservation actions.

The European Red List assessments enabled the Commission to identify the extent of the problem of pollinator decline in the EU and provided the knowledge base for the establishment of the European Pollinator Initiative.

“REd List assessments are carried out every 10 years and cover the entire EU. Moths are one of the main groups of pollinating insects and the next Red List assessment will be used to analyze their status in order to understand whether our policy actions have a medium to long term impact. “



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