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Fighting crime: Commission launches public consultation on environmental crime

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The Commission has launched a public consultation on environmental crime. The results of this public consultation will feed into the review of the EU rules on environmental crime. The Directive (Directive 2008/99/EC) requires member states to treat activities that breach EU environmental legislation, such as illegal shipment of waste, trade in endangered species or in ozone-depleting substances, as criminal offences. Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said: “The EU is a front-runner in developing a comprehensive environmental policy. We are determined to continue setting global standards for the protection of the planet. A green transition means that we have to protect our environment against crime and our natural resources against exploitation. I invite everyone to take part in this consultation and share their contribution. Together, we can do more to protect wildlife and improve the quality of life of all citizens.”

A legislative proposal for a revised Directive is expected by the end of 2021. An evaluation of the Directive, carried out in 2019-2020, concluded that room for improvement remains when it comes to reducing environmental crime and prosecuting offenders. The revision addresses those issues, by making use of the EU's reinforced competence in the field of criminal law under the Lisbon Treaty as well as ensure better coordination of the rules with other green initiatives. The public consultation will gather views from individuals and groups with interest and expertise in the matter, like members of the general public, academics, businesses and NGOs. The public consultation is open from 5 February until 4 May 2021. More information is available here.

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