The EU-funded project on fighting environmental crime EFFACE, has published its conclusions and policy recommendations. They are based on earlier research done in EFFACE, which included legal analysis, data analysis, various case studies, and an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the current approach of the EU to combating environmental crime.
Nine different policy areas were selected for the SWOT analysis. Based on the results of the SWOT analysis and a discussion of these results among the EFFACE partners, an in-depth analysis of possible policy options was made for each of the nine areas. Those reports constitute the basis for the current recommendations which are addressed at both EU level and Member State policy makers. The report distinguishes between core and supplementary recommendations. In addition to these recommendations, questions for further research are identified.
Some proposals at EU level include:
- The fact that environmental crime has been committed in the context of organised crime should be considered an aggravating circumstance in the Environmental Crime Directive.
- Rules on the confiscation and forfeiture of the proceeds of environmental crime should be adopted at the EU level.
- Impose an obligation on Member States to provide data on the number of violations, prosecutions and imposed sanctions for violations of national provisions implementing European environmental law, commonly referred to as the environmental acquis.
- Make clear in the language of Directive 2008/99 that not only criminal sanctions can provide “effective, dissuasive and proportional” sanctions.
- Improve the Environmental Liability Directive.