In the last years, we have witnessed a clear rise in environmental crimes around Europe. Crimes such as illegal deforestation, soil pollution, arsons, and overfishing do not only massively harm biodiversity but also involve corruption, money laundering, and violence.
It is about time that the EU shows leadership in fighting green crimes. Therefore, Renew Europe calls on the European Commission to extend EPPOs mandate to cover environmental offences.
We want to see a stronger institutional framework on cross-border environmental crime that provides for an EU Green Prosecutor within the EPPO to fight environmental crimes. It should be built upon the existing structure and stay focused on tackling environmental crimes, operational and coordination support, efficient cross-border green crime prosecution and proportionate sanctions.
Dacian Cioloş, president of Renew Europe group, says:
”Environmental crime does not know borders and affects us all. This is why Renew calls for an effective EU approach to tackle environmental crime. We have a European Public Prosecutor (EPPO) in place, we want the mandate of the EPPO to cover environmental crime too so it can help tackle it on a European level. “
Vlad Gheorghe, the initiator of the letter, says:
"The green crime is still largely underreported and underinvestigated in the EU, leading to the loss of biodiversity, natural resources and public finances. At the same time, criminal proceeds coming from the illicit nature exploitation do not stop at any border; they infiltrate the legal economy, erode competition and reduce tax revenues.
To address this challenge, we propose the EU Green Prosecutor, a reinforced mechanism based on the extension of EPPO mandate to environmental issues, as well as on strengthened environmental competencies for Europol, Eurojust and CEPOL."
Read our full letter
yesterday sent to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the responsible Commissioners.