EU Commission to file court cases against 6 countries causing environmental damage
Moscow/UNI: The European Commission said on Thursday it would submit to the EU Court of Justice cases of non-compliance with provisions on protecting the environment from invasive alien species by Bulgaria, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Latvia, and Portugal.
"The Commission decided today [on Thursday] to refer Bulgaria, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Latvia, and Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to implement various provisions of Regulation 1143/2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species," a statement read.
Invasive alien species are plants and animals which are accidentally or deliberately introduced to an area where they are not normally found, the European Commission specified.
These species cause biodiversity loss as they threaten native plants and animals.
The European Union estimates the damage from these species to the bloc's economy at 12 billion euros ($13 billion) annually to its economy.
The European Commission added that Bulgaria, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Latvia, and Portugal had not developed, implemented, and submitted an action plan to address the most essential "pathways of introduction and spread of these invasive alien species."
Moreover, Bulgaria and Greece have not yet created or incorporated an invasive alien species surveillance system into their existing system, despite the fact that the deadline for implementing these actions had been set for January 2018.
The EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species entered into force in January 2015.
The list currently includes 88 species of the bloc's concern, such as the water hyacinth, the Asian hornet and the raccoon.
Under the regulation, the EU member states are obliged to implement measures aimed at preventing the introduction of these species into the union. The countries also have to detect the species and take eradication measures.