No leniency for criminal polluters

16.11.2023 16:49

No leniency for criminal polluters

Empty Blue Chemical Waste Drums Lying on an Abandoned Bank with a view on Smoking Exhaust Pipes of a Heavy Industrial Factory

Led by the EPP Group MEP Antonius Manders, negotiators from the European Parliament and the Member States have just reached an agreement on the Environmental Crime Directive in trilogue negotiations. For the first time, penalties for natural and legal persons who cause considerable harm to species and habitats, surface water, groundwater and soil will be harmonised. This also applies to limitation periods, prevention and enforcement measures. The deal foresees training, specialisation, and judicial support for judges, prosecutors and police forces.

"If you pollute, you will pay for your crimes. We have successfully negotiated a zero-tolerance position on environmental crimes that have huge consequences for human health and the environment,” said Antonius Manders, the European Parliament’s negotiator on the law. He added, “We must fight these cross-border crimes at the EU level with harmonised, dissuasive and effective sanctions to prevent new environmental crimes. There is no more hiding behind permits or loopholes in legislation.”

Today's agreement still needs to be confirmed by Member States and the European Parliament. The vote in plenary will most likely take place in February 2024.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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