Friends of Natura 2000 is an initiative by CEEweb for Biodiversity that brings together citizens from central and eastern Europe who benefit from or support nature protected areas. The aim of this network is to show through examples and personal stories of citizens that nature is beneficial for both people and the economy. The precondition for this successful synergy is the proper implementation of EU nature directives nationally, and so Friends of Natura 2000 advocate for the proper application and improvement of these directives .

Not only do the Friends of Natura 2000 show that is possible to have both a profitable and sustainable business, but they also give hope that the future of Europe will provide for their children and grandchildren to enjoy, benefit from and care for nature.

Angelika Arvay, a winemaker from the Arvay family winery in Rakta in the Tokaj Wine Region Historical Cultural Landscape, said

“As a winemaker, what I find important is to get healthier grapes into the press, into the barrel and into the cup. The protection of nature is also important. Often our children are walking through the vineyard with us and we wish that when they grow up, they will be able to see the same wonderful landscapes as we see now.”

The EU budget is one of the tools that can help serve the objectives of initiatives like Friends of Natura 2000.