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Recent developments within the framework of the European Green Deal have aimed at criminalization and an overhaul of regulatory frameworks to address environmental crime and its effects on the financial interests of the EU. This document was prepared by the Policy Department for Citizen’s Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee of Petitions. The study suggests that despite commendable efforts, the transnational nature of environmental crime and its convergence with organized ...

There is a broad consensus about the deterioration of democracy and human rights across the world due, among other things, to growing authoritarianism, the coronavirus pandemic, deepening economic inequalities, new trends in artificial intelligence, and increasingly severe conflicts. This deterioration has taken place amidst rising impunity, i.e. the impossibility of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account. Tackling impunity globally is therefore an urgent task, as highlighted in several ...

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The workshop explored the different ways to tackle environmental criminality in developing countries. Bringing together a wide range of international experts as well as local representatives from developing countries, the workshop sought to identify existing gaps in policy and legal responses, and generate debates about how the identified gaps can be filled. The first panel focused on the prevention and the fight against environmental crimes in developing countries. In doing so, it drew on lessons ...

The European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law in December 2021. The proposal intends to clarify some of the terms contained in the directive and includes an updated list of environmental crime offences, harmonised sanction types and levels, measures to strengthen international investigation and prosecution, improvements to the collection of statistical data and measures to improve national enforcement chains. Ultimately ...

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 ...

Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law – the Environmental Crime Directive (ECD) – was aimed primarily at improving environmental protection by means of harmonised criminal legislation. Despite noticeable progress on setting up a common legal framework and the undisputed relevance of the directive, there are shortcomings with regard to the uncertain scope of application of the directive, the uneven system for sanctions and the fact that implementation is still ...

This study addresses the fate of environmental liability and environmental crime under mergers and acquisitions. It analyses whether environmental liability is passed on, either to a successor or to a parent company. Also the role of companies in the Environmental Crime Directive is analysed with specific attention to succession of companies. Particular attention is given to the concept of ecocide. The study concludes that in case of a merger or acquisition environmental obligations are passed on ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, aims at gaining deeper insights into the environmental liability of companies in the European Union. It analyses the role of companies within the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) and pays attention to potential hurdles that may limit the possibility to hold companies liable for environmental harm. Various remedies to the limited liability of the corporation are discussed ...

The Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters is an international agreement that gives the public a number of rights with regard to the environment. It consists of three pillars, one of them covering the right of access to justice in cases of non-compliance with environmental law. Implementation of the convention's provisions on access to justice have been the focus of two recent documents, one published by the ...