Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission
Invasive alien species are now unfortunately present in many locations throughout Europe causing severe economic and environmental damage. Almost 11 000 species from other parts of the world have been introduced into Europe to the detriment of indigenous flora and fauna.
In December 2008 the Commission published a communication setting out the possible options of an EU strategy for tackling invasive species. The Commission will further assess the impact and cost of its proposed policy options and consult with Member States, other EU institutions and relevant stakeholders, with a view to putting forward definitive proposals for an EU strategy on invasive species.
To date there is no dedicated EU mechanism to support Member States' national efforts to monitor high-risk areas to detect and control alien. The LIFE Regulation provides some limited opportunities for innovative and demonstration projects to tackle invasive species and may be applicable to some projects.