EU states reach partial agreement on Directive protecting environment through criminal law

In early June, the Justice and Interior Ministers of the EU member states discussed the proposed Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law at their Council meeting and agreed on a "partial general approach". The partial general approach covers the articles and recitals defining criminal offences.

The current Directive (2008/99/EC) stipulates nine offences that member states must treat as criminal rather than administrative or civil offences. These criminal offences include illegal waste management activities and trans-boundary waste shipments. Last week, the Council agreed to the definitions put forward in the proposal by the European Commission, which contains a total of 20 criminal offences. Among the new additions are illegal shipbreaking, severe infringements of EU chemicals legislation and timber trafficking....

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