Communication on stepping up the fight against environmental crime

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 814
Publication Date 15/12/2021
Content Type


Communication adopted by the European Commission on 15 December 2021, providing an overview of its approach to fighting environmental crime.

Further information:

Environmental crime is seen as a growing concern causing damage to the environment and to human health within and beyond the European Union (EU). It also undermines the aims of the European Commission's European Green Deal, which relies on curbing pollution, managing waste and safeguarding biodiversity. Environmental crime is an aspect of what the United Nations (UN) terms theĀ environmental rule of law. This describes a situation in which laws are widely understood, respected and enforced and the benefits of environmental protection are enjoyed by people and the planet.

Despite the harm transgressors cause and the financial benefit they acquire, their risk of detection is deemed low and risks of prosecution and sanctioning are even lower. This situation helps explain the involvement of organised crime. In May 2017, the Council of the European Union included fighting environmental crime as one of the crime-combatting priorities for the period 2018-2021. In 2021, that priority was renewed for the period 2022-2025.

The EU adopted Directive 2008/99/EC - also known as the Environmental Crime Directive - in 2008. Since then, a deeper understanding has emerged of the challenges and best means of combating environmental crime. The Council produced a report in 2019 with a series of recommendations in this regard. The legal framework needs to respond to the latest challenges and provide a solid legal basis for addressing them. This Communication sets out the Commission's approach to tackling environmental crime, and invites the co-legislators and each Member State to give priority to measures aimed at reinforcing the fight against environmental crime.

Source Link
Subject Categories ,
Subject Tags ,
International Organisations