EU lawmakers back heavy fines, jail sentences against green crimes

euractiv – 21 maart 2023

Toine Manders, a Dutch lawmaker with the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), is the Parliament’s lead negotiator on the EU’s environmental crime directive that was subject to the vote.

“We successfully negotiated a zero-tolerance position on crimes that have huge consequences for human health and the environment,” Manders commented after the vote on Tuesday (21 March).

According to EU estimates, environmental crime is one of the most profitable and fastest-growing areas of international criminal activity, with a yearly turnover of more than €200 billion.

To address this, the European Commission tabled a proposal in December 2021 to update the existing directive to provide a more harmonised framework for member states to deter and punish offenders.

In Parliament, lawmakers added new offences to the list of punishable crimes, including illegal timber trading, illegal depletion of water resources, pollution caused by ships, and breaches of the EU chemicals legislation.

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