EnviCrimeNet - Press release Annual General Meeting 2016
The 6th EnviCrimeNet Annual General Meeting (ECN-AGM), hosted by the Police Force of the Slovak Republic, was held on 3rd and 4th November in Bratislava. Experts and practitioners from 20 European countries, Europol, Interpol, the European Commission and the World Customs Organization met to discuss best practices, latest developments and challenges posed by environmental crime. One of the main topics was the 'Slovak Initiative' and its implementation in form of an EU Action Plan to combat environmental crime.
For the last six years, Europol has provided the permanent Secretariat for the ECN, an informal network of practitioners combating environmental and wildlife crime.
EnviCrimeNet supports the Slovak initiative and the proposal of an Action Plan.
One of the priorities of the Slovak Presidency in the field of Justice and Home Affairs is the fight against environmental crime. The Presidency therefore prepared an initiative on countering environmental crime, which was discussed at the Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP) on 29th September 2016 and also at the ECN-AGM on 3rd and 4th November 2016. The Presidency prepared draft council conclusions on countering environmental crime, which will be followed up by an Action Plan. At the ECN- AGM it was suggested that the ECN should help with the implementation of the Action Plan.
The two-day AGM served as a platform to discuss national and international cooperation of law enforcement and other agencies involved in combating environmental crime. Particular attention was given to illegal waste trafficking through organised crime groups (OCGs) and other illegal actions in relation to waste as a form of organised corporate crime. Also covered were wildlife-related crimes (with a particular focus on birds), criminal behavior in relation to safety and industrial plants, and illegal logging. These four main topics were further discussed in workshops. Outcomes and recommendations will be presented shortly.
During the meeting the close cooperation of the ECN with three other important networks was highlighted. These networks are:
- The European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL);
- The European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment (ENPE);
- The European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment (EUFJE).
Other outcomes from the meeting were:
- Mr. Roel Willekens from the Dutch Police will chair the network for another year.
- In preparation of its Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017, Malta joined the ECN Steering Group.
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