Law Development, Enforcement and Compliance

Networking and regional cooperation

The REC continued to provide assistance in environmental law implementation and enforcement, including combating illegal logging and environmental crime through networking and regional cooperation.

The TA acted as secretariat of the Themis cooperation platform in the SEE region, financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). The platform contributed to better regional mutual understanding and cross-border cooperation, and enhanced capacity in the region with respect to nature protection, forestry and the combating of environmental crimes via training activities and technical assistance workshops. The fruitful relationship with the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) and the Federal Environment Agency of Germany (UBA) continued, and new partnerships were established with INTERPOL and the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL).

In parallel, the REC continued to host the secretariat of the Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in the Maghreb (NECEMA) and maintained close contacts with network members. Fundraising efforts were made for the implementation of the NECEMA action plan, and visibility/communication activities were carried out.

Sectoral issues

The TA was involved in the implementation of the project Law Enforcement in the Field of Industrial Pollution Control, the Prevention of Chemical Accidents and the Establishment of the Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in Serbia. The assistance provided by the project team focused on strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection (MERZ), and ensuring the necessary tools to support its everyday work in three thematic areas: integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC), the implementation of the Seveso Directive for the prevention of chemical accidents, and EMAS.

Under the EC Framework Contract for Support with Complaints and Infringement Cases, two studies were carried out in selected EU countries: one dealing with drinking-water quality and the other with the conformity of waste management plans with the Waste Framework Directive. Another study on the EU directive on the use of animals in experiments was carried out under the EC Framework Contract for Conformity Checking of Measures of Member States to Transpose Environmental Directives.

With the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, the REC co-organised, and gave expert input to, two trainings on the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes.

The TA portfolio is expanding to new areas, such as forest fires. The team was awarded a project addressing the risks of forest fires in SEE under the framework of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENSVEC).

KEPT AT BAY: REC assistance in the implementation of environmental law helps regions to control the spread of hazardous waste across borders
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