The European Landscape Convention
The European Landscape Convention is an international treaty adopted in Florence (Italy) on 20 October 2000 on the basis of a proposal formulated by the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. It came into force on 1 March 2004, with the aim of promoting European landscape protection, management and planning, and encouraging European co-operation in this area.
The Convention is an international legal framework for a political project aimed at sharing and consolidating a new approach to landscape issues continent-wide. It is the first international treaty to be exclusively concerned with all aspects of European landscape. It applies to the entire territory of the Parties and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas. It concerns landscapes that might be considered outstanding as well as everyday or degraded landscapes.
The Convention proposes legal and financial measures at the national and international levels, aimed at shaping "landscape policies" and promoting interaction between local and central authorities as well as transfrontier cooperation in protecting landscapes.
The Convention provisions relating to the division of public responsibilities make an explicit reference to the principle of subsidiarity and local self-government. Accordingly, the Contracting States undertake to involve local and regional authorities in the establishment and the implementation of landscape policies, landscape identification / assessment procedures, the definition of quality objectives and interventions in the areas concerned.
The authentic version of the Convention (in English and French) is presented under TEXTS OF THE CONVENTION, together with other linguistic versions. Other information on the origins of the Convention and its provisions can be found under EXPLANATORY REPORT.
As of 15 February 2009, 30 States had ratified the Convention: Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom. Six States had signed but not ratified it: Azerbaijan, Greece, Malta, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland. Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Russia had neither signed nor ratified the Convention. The Convention is in force in 21 out of the 27 member States of the European Union.
Further information on the signature / ratification process are presented under SIGNATURES AND RATIFICATIONS.