Environmental crime directive

Briefing 26-04-2022

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, which was submitted on 15 December 2021 and referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). Despite the lack of systematic statistical data, environmental, social and economic damage caused by environmental crimes has been widely documented. Directive 2008/99/EC (the Environmental Crime Directive, ECD) was aimed primarily at improving environmental protection by means of harmonised criminal legislation. In 2020, the evaluation of the ECD showed that legal shortcomings and enforcement gaps had affected its effectiveness in deterring environmental crime in all its forms. Its revision, planned in the 2021 Commission work programme, underpins the Commission's priorities around the Green Deal and the biodiversity strategy The European Parliament has called on the Commission to tackle environmental crime in its 2014 resolution on wildlife crime and its 2013 resolution on organised crime and corruption. The proposal is accompanied by a communication on stepping up the fight against environmental crime.