We are currently in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. We are losing plants and animals at an alarming rate and humans are to blame. One of the most serious threats to biodiversity loss is wildlife trafficking, writes MEP Catherine Bearder.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Western Balkan countries on Sunday (25 February) to bear in mind 2025 as the date when any of them could join the European Union provided they worked to meet the criteria for membership.
The fight against conflict diamonds has slowed down since the creation of the Kimberley process in 2002. However, with the EU at its head in 2018, the subject of corporate responsibility could come up in talks.
The rising illicit tobacco trade and particularly of the so-called cheap whites from Belarus to the EU will be discussed at the next EU-Belarus meeting on 19 December, an EU official told EURACTIV.com.
The European Union on Tuesday (5 December) donated €17.2 million as part of a €30m package to boost efforts in Eastern and Southern Africa to reduce the illegal killing of wildlife and the trafficking of related products.
The European Commission has proposed a ban on eel fishing in the Atlantic, in an attempt to recover the dwindling stock of the European eel, a critically endangered species that is traded illegally by an industry that is worth millions of euros.
In May 2017, EU justice ministers decided that environmental crimes – including wildlife trafficking and waste crimes – would be one of the EU’s ten priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime during the 2018-21 policy cycle. Catherine Bearder evokes how this decision came to being.
The European Commission’s proposal for a tobacco track and trace system is fully in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) provisions, as it gives control over the system to the member states and not the tobacco industry, a Commission spokesperson told EURACTIV.
Illegal sale of fine cut tobacco is on the rise in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, depriving state budgets of millions of euros in unpaid taxes and causing concern in the EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF, and the European Commission.
Plans to tackle the problem of illicit tobacco by using track and trace technologies are gathering momentum among European policymakers. But Juan Yañez warns that concerns about the type and timing of the technology need to be raised.