Between 1 and 2 December 2016, the 15th meeting of the IMPEL General Assembly took place in Bratislava, Slovakia. The participants were reminded of the strategic direction of the network, as laid down in its Multi Annual Strategic Programme. The representative of the European Commission again expressed the value of IMPEL’s activities and its contribution to a better and more effective implementation of EU environmental law. He stated that the European Commission’s Compliance Assurance Initiative was also mainly inspired by IMPEL.
A number of decisions were taken, including:
- Welcoming the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture & Environmental Protection as 36th member country to our network
- After four years, John Seager stepped down as Chair of IMPEL. He will be replaced by Chris Dijkens of the Netherlands. Ana Garcia from the Portuguese Environmental Inspectorate becomes the new Vice Chair of IMPEL as of 1 January 2017
- The budget for 2017 was also approved; including 28 new projects
- In order to measure IMPEL’s impact of its activities at the national level and local level, it was agreed that member countries will complete an annual national reporting form. This will help IMPEL to better understand the quantitative and qualitative impact of IMPEL’s work in member countries and if the activities tare targeting the identified implementation gaps.
The following project reports were adopted and are now available on our website:
- Guidance on the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive and guidance on Waste Shipment Inspection Planning
- Waste & TFS Conference 2016
- Financial provision – Legacy Liabilities
- Impel Review Initiatives reports performed in Turkey, Italy and Austria
- Comparison report ‘Doing The Right Things for Environmental Permitting.
Cooperation with other networks
Lastly IMPEL was pleased to see so many other networks attending the meeting, namely:
- The Heads of European Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA)
- European Network of the Heads of Environment Protection Agencies (NEPA)
- European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment (EUFJE)
- The European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment(ENPE)
- Envicrimenet (informal network connecting police officers and other crime fighters in the field of environmental crime)
- Themis network.
Having them at the General Assembly provided a great opportunity to link with them and explore possibilities for future cooperation. IMPEL is working to join together various European networks with the aim of uniting our efforts in combating environmental crime and improving implementation of the environmental acquis. The Environmental Enforcement Networks conference, held in May 2016, is an example of that.