The European Commission has launched a new high-level expert group to help deliver the actions of the Action Plan on environmental compliance assurance and governance in 2018 and 2019. The Environmental Compliance and Governance Forum is composed of Member States representatives and representatives of the EU networks of judges, prosecutors, police officers, inspectors, and environment agencies.
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “Over the years, judges, prosecutors, inspectors, police officers, and other enforcement bodies across the EU have developed a vast expertise in the implementation of EU environmental laws. To make sure these laws are delivering for European citizens and the environment, we are bringing these key networks and Member States together. The new expert group will help address major challenges in applying EU rules on water, nature, air and waste.”
The Forum will steer the implementation of the nine ambitious actions announced in the Commission’s Action Plan in January 2018, help identify new priority actions once the Action Plan is completed, and serve as a high-level forum for discussing strategic governance topics. Some of the expected practical outputs are: guidance documents on tackling environmental crime, handling of complaints and protecting the rural environment, and a new framework for assessing how well Member States are doing on environmental governance.
On 19 January 2018 the European Commission launched an Action Plan to help Member States improve the application of EU environmental laws. Poor implementation is linked with persistent problems such as water pollution, poor urban air quality, unsatisfactory waste treatment, and species and habitats in decline. The Action Plan set out nine actions to strengthen compliance assurance mechanisms. A high-level expert group, the Environmental Compliance and Governance Forum, was established to steer the implementation of the Action Plan and to serve as a platform for strategic discussions on environmental governance topics.