Renew Europe calls for a European Green Prosecutor in the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) headed by Laura Codruța Kövesi. Its role will be to combat environmental crime in all Member States.
The Renew Europe Group supports the initiative of the USRPLUS MEPs and calls for the establishment of a European Green Prosecutor.
At the initiative of the USRPLUS EP delegation, the Renew Group sent an official letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and to the relevant Commissioners. The letter highlights the clear increase in environmental crime across Europe. This includes illegal deforestation, soil pollution, poaching and fishing for protected species.
All these crimes are massively destroying biodiversity. Moreover, it often involves corruption, money laundering and violence. It’s time for EU to set an example and become leader in the fight against environmental crime, according to Renew.
“Environmental crimes have no borders and affect us all. That is why we call for an effective EU approach to combating environmental crime. We already have a European Public Prosecutor’s Office in place and we want its mandate to cover also environmental crime. In this way, we will be able to successfully fight them at the level of all member countries “, underlines Dacian Cioloș, the president of the Renew Europe group.
The group wants to extend the mandate of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) to cover environmental crime as well. The European Green Prosecutor would use the existing structure to ensure effective cross-border prosecution of green crimes.
“Environmental crime is largely unreported and investigated at European level. This leads to the irreversible loss of biodiversity, natural resources and often even to the loss of human lifes. For example, in Romania alone in recent years, 6 foresters have been killed by wood thieves. Hundreds of activists were assaulted while trying to curb illegal logging. Revenues from illegal exploitation of Europe cost national budgets billions of euros a year. Hence the acute need for a mechanism that includes an extended mandate at EPPO, as well as enhanced environmental competencies for Europol, Eurojust and CEPOL “, explains USRPLUS MEP Vlad Gheorghe, who highlighted the need for a Green Prosecutor at European level.
You can also read the full press release of the Renew Europe Group..