Eurojust, the EU’s judicial co-operation unit, is holding a joint conference aimed at addressing the rise in environmental crime across Europe.
The ‘International collaboration and co-operation in the fight against environmental crime’ conference, jointly organised by Eurojust and the European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE) and held at Eurojust’s premises in the Hague, began yesterday, 29 October, and will run through today, 30 October. More than 100 specialists from four continents will share information and best practice tactics for reducing environmental crime, which has shown a threefold rise in the last year.
Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran said: “Combating environmental crime is of great importance, because it poses a serious threat to our health and physical safety. That’s why Eurojust gladly joins forces with ENPE and other actors concerned, in an effort to stop organised crime from getting a foothold in this sector.”
Eurojust reports that the number of major cases relating to the environment that it has opened last year has tripled, indicating a drastic rise in environmental crime. The evidence suggests that international organised crime networks are increasingly engaging in illicit activities which harm ecosystems and biodiversity, including illegal dumping of hazardous waste materials. Not only is illegal waste dumping detrimental to the environment, Eurojust notes, the practice also undermines the efforts of waste management enterprises operating within legal boundaries.
Anne Brosnan, President of the ENPE, said: “ENPE is a growing network of European prosecutors, sharing learning and best practice, establishing good case law and developing training opportunities in relation to the prosecution of environmental crime across Europe. Working with Eurojust and other partners, we will help to deliver better environmental regulation and a healthier, more sustainable environment. Our annual conference this year, held in conjunction with Eurojust, will provide a unique opportunity to embed, improve and expand this work.”