Law Development, Enforcement and Compliance

Networking and regional cooperation

The REC’s ongoing support to the development, implementation and enforcement of national, EC and international environmental law in EU member states, candidate countries, potential candidates and beyond, was translated during the year into a variety of activities: networking and cooperation with international stakeholders; institution strengthening and capacity building through trainings and study visits; and dissemination and dialogue.

The topic area acted as secretariat of the Themis Network for the fourth year in succession, providing assistance to the regional cooperation platform and its members in SEE and Moldova. The Themis Network continued to contribute to better regional mutual understanding and cross-border cooperation, and enhanced capacity in the region with respect to nature protection, the implementation of the EU environmental acquis, transboundary inspections, and the combating of environmental crimes in general. In this framework, targeted training workshops were organised in different EU member states to disseminate good practices among SEE representatives, especially with regard to cross-cutting issues (environmental impact assessment/strategic environmental assessment, environmental liability etc.) and the control of trans-frontier shipments of waste and trade in species. Ties and cooperation with international partners, including the International Networkfor Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), were strengthened, and the long-term partnership with the EU Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) was formalised with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in December.

Sectoral issues

In the forestry sector, the topic area was involved with the U.S. Forest Service in a training on illegal logging/timber theft investigations. In addition, the project “Addressing the Risks of Forest Fires in South Eastern Europe”, implemented under the umbrella of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENSVEC), was finalised during the year. Six country studies and a regional report were published, outlining concrete policy recommendations at national and regional level, while future steps to mitigate the risks and consequences of forest fires were identified in a roadmap, adopted during the closing event of the project.

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, the REC co-organised and gave expert input to a training on environmental criminal investigations, and a training on environmental enforcement and prosecution.

Law Development, Enforcement and Compliance
Members of the Themis Network benefited from targeted training opportunities that spread good practices and experience across borders.