Wildlife trafficking has become one of the most profitable criminal activities in the world due to strong demand and a low risk of detection. In spite of this, it still gets less attention than other types of crime and far fewer resources are invested in combating it. Therefore, in its opinion adopted at the July plenary, the EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal for an EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. This crime is closely connected to other illegal activities of international criminal organisations, including money laundering and corruption. It also has a huge negative impact on the environment (loss of biodiversity, deforestation, potential extinction of several species, fish stock reduction) and health (contagion from new pathogens, infectious diseases).
In the opinion, the EESC:
- is pleased with the Commission's commitment to allot financial and human resources from EU funds to address wildlife trafficking;
- highlights the significance of implementing effective and discouraging measures against wildlife trafficking, suggesting that the current level of sanctions proposed by the Council under the Environmental Crime Directive is insufficient and must be increased;
- recommends the establishment of consistent structures in all Member States;
The Farmers’ Category held a half-day meeting on Tuesday 27 January 2015. The category spokesperson Yves Somville (BE) introduced the main topic for discussion: ‘Current situation and perspectives for the agricultural market’ to which a number of actors were invited.