Successful Launch Event of EU Research Project on Environmental Crime
The EU-funded research project "European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime" (EFFACE) held its launch event from 23 to 25 January 2013 in Brussels. The meeting was organized by Ecologic Institute, coordinator of the research project, and the Institute for Environmental Security (IES).
The meeting brought together researchers from 11 European universities and think tanks. The meeting was the kick-off to a 40 months collaborative process. One issue discussed during the meeting was the definition of environmental crime. The EU Environmental Crime Directive contains rules on which type of environmental offences the Member States need to define as crime in their national legal orders. However, beyond the behaviour that is defined as environmental crime in EU law, there may be actions that cause serious damage to the environment and, through that, society at large; some argue that such types should also be considered as environmental crime. A part of EFFACE research efforts will be to understand more in-depth of what should be considered environmental crime, and what other approaches other than criminalisation are pertinent and effective.
The meeting was opened by a presentation of Davyth Stewart, Criminal Intelligence Officer with the Environmental Crime Programme of the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) who shared some insights from the practice of combating environmental crime.