ENPE, with the support of the EU LIFE programme, has undertaken a 5 year project, which commenced in 2015, to develop its network and to undertake a programme of support for the operative work of prosecutors. Funded by the EU Life Programme, the 5-year LIFE-ENPE project reporting is now complete with the Final Report submitted on 13 November 2020. We look forward to the next phase of ENPE activities with a busy schedule for 2021 and beyond already taking shape. For access to our project deliverables, including the Layman’s report which is a useful summary of our activities and outputs, please see below.
We owe a great deal of thanks to our ENPE partners: the EPA (Ireland); REMA (Sweden); Funktioneel Parket (Netherlands); Defra (England, UK) and EUFJE (the European Environmental Judges network based in Belgium) together with our colleagues at the Environment Agency (England, UK) for their support and assistance. We have also valued the input and feedback provided by our ENPE members and wider LIFE-ENPE project stakeholders and are very much appreciative of the time and effort they have put into the project. We look forward to a positive review from the EU Life programme and will of course keep you informed of next steps.
LIFE-ENPE (LIFE14 GIE/UK/000043) is a multi partner project that will improve compliance with EU Environmental Law by addressing uneven and incomplete implementation across Member States through improvements to the efficiency and effectiveness of prosecutors and judges in combating environmental crime. ENPE was submitted for a grant to the European Commission (EC) and in 2014 won a funding grant as part of the LIFE+ Programme, the EC tool designed to finance environment-related projects. The running of this project is led by the England-based Environment Agency (EA) in Bristol and involves a consortium of 4 other partners; The European Union Forum of Judges for the Environment (EUFJE); The Irish EPA; The Office for Serious Fraud and Environmental Crime of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office (FP, Netherlands) and The National Environmental Crimes Unit at the Swedish Prosecution Authority (REMA). The duration of the project is from 16-JULY-2015 to 17-JULY-2020, with a total budget of €1,072,400, and it has the following objectives:
- Build a self-sustaining network to provide a platform for trans-national cooperation, sharing best practice and disseminating intelligence and expertise between public bodies charged with prosecuting environmental crime;
- Improve the collation and dissemination of information on environmental crime, its prosecution and adjudication, building a shared EU-wide knowledge resource permanently maintained by the ENPE network to improve understanding of the issues, barriers and multilateral dimensions of environmental crime; and
- Improve capacity and consistency in Europe for combating transnational waste, wildlife and air pollution crimes, by convening 4 working groups to prepare training packages.
LIFE-ENPE's project partners are:
- EU Forum of Judges for the Environment-EUFJE
- Environment Agency England
- Openbaar Ministerie, Functioneel Parket The Netherlands
- Riksenheten för miljö- och Arbetsmiljömål vid Åklagarmyndigheten Sweden
- Environmental Protection Agency Ireland
Following an internal re-organisation, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was also included in 2018 as a project partner, recognising the support in financial management it provided.
As outlined in the LIFE-ENPE project objectives above, a key activity is the convening of four working groups to focus on specific areas of tackling environmental crime. Each group will be chaired by a LIFE-ENPE Project Board member, with clearly identified outputs comprising training packages and events: Working Group 1 - Wildlife; Chair: Lars Magnusson (REMA), which will focus on issues of interpretation, practical application and evidence gathering that currently hinder the effective prosecution and adjudication of non-compliance of the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC); Working Group 2 - Waste; Chair: Rob de Rijck (FP), which will explore major causes of non-compliance with the Waste Shipment Regulation (1013/2006) and issues around efficient and effective prosecution and adjudication; Working Group 3 - Air Pollution (chemicals); Chairs: Lina Chatziathanasou (Law Office of Cyprus) and Christos Naintos (The Supreme Court of Greece), where focus will be on issues experienced by prosecutors and judges arising from non-compliance with industrial emissions and large-scale events, in particular, those resulting in air pollution; Working Group 4 - Sanctioning, Prosecution and Judicial Practice; Chair: Carole Billiet (EUFJE), which will provide an overview, building on recent studies into the range of criminal and administrative sanctions in use across Europe, in particular the LIFE-ENPE Capitalisation and Gap-filling report which is a key output from a related project action (Action A1). More details on the Working Group Activities are included on our Activities page. Key Working Group Milestones and delvierables and noted below:
Working Group kick-off meetings - December 2 2016, Brussels, Belgium
The first meetings (kick off meetings) for Working Groups 1, 2 and 4 took place in Scotland House on December 2nd 2016. This event was well attended with 15 attendees representing membership of all three groups, together with LIFE-ENPE project team and EC Directorate General for Environment representation. After a plenary session in the morning involving presentations from Rob de Rijck, Carole Billiet, Shaun Robinson and Miroslav Angelov (DG Environment), each Working Group chair led their team in a break-out session to brains-storm themes and ideas on which to focus actitivities within their topic areas.
Working Group presentations at LIFE-ENPE Annual conferences: 12 & 13 May 2016 - Utrecht, Netherlands; 20 September 2017 - Oxford, UK; 23-24 October 2018 - Heraklion, Crete; 24-25 October 2019 - The Hague, Netherlands
In accordance with LIFE-ENPE workplan, all four Working Groups have delivered presentations on their activities so far, including a breif report on progress and intended activities, at our annual conferences in Utrecht, Oxford, Heraklion and The Hauge. In all four conferences, Lars Magnusson, as Chair of WG 1; Rob de Rijck, as chair of WG2; Carole Billiet as Chair of WG 4 and the Chair(s) of WG3 all presented at the main plenary to all delegates (see below for all presentations in pdf format). The groups were also able to meet in the margins of the conference since many of the WG Members for all four groups were attending as delegates anyway.
Links to other projects - Declarations of Co-operation signed with LIFE SMART Waste (LIFE/13 ENV-UK-000549) & LIFE Natura Themis (LIFE/14/GR/000026)
LIFE-ENPE has links to other EU Life projects where collaborative activities, including networking, information sharing and joint working, are ongoing. We have signed a Declaration of Collaboration with LIFE SMART Waste LIFE/13 ENV-UK-000549 http://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/waste/life-smart-waste/, a project based in Scotland which seeks to ensure more effective and efficient regulation of waste through innovative techniques and technologies; and LIFE Natura Themis LIFE/14/GIE/GR/000026 http://www.lifethemis.eu; a project based in Greece which seeks to protect Natura 2000 habitats and raise awareness of wildlife cirmes.
LIFE SMART Waste has set up an External Steering Group, comprised of specialists in waste regulation and environmental compliance. LIFE-ENPE is pleased to contribute to this group, and welcomed the LIFE SMART Waste team to present at its conference in Oxford last year (see below for the presentation). The team has also published an electronic flyer to update on progress reflected in their Mid-term report. Please see here to download https://goo.gl/y1fKCP
LIFE Natura Themis continues to provide project outputs with its activities progressing well. Please see the link for a TV campaign in Crete to encourage the public to report environmental crimes:http://www.lifethemis.eu/en/content/project-s-tv-spots-english-subtitles-air
This project is co-hosting, with LIFE-ENPE, the annual ENPE conference at the Natural History Museum of Crete, Heraklion in October 2018. A recent meeting between representatives form both projects at the LIFE Natural Themis premises at the University of Crete, Heraklion proved to be a very worthwhile opportunity for LIFE-ENPE and and LIFE Natura Themis to showcase their work and plan mutually beneficial activities to enhance the value added for each in the future. Of particular note, was the development of the LIFE Natura Themis mobile phone application to report environmental crimes and the recent outputs from the LIFE-ENPE Working Groups. Presentations from the meeting are included below.
For more information please see www.lifethemis.eu.
LIFE-ENPE Reports and outputs
As the project progresses, LIFE-ENPE will produce a series of project outputs, including reports, which will be available for download. The first report is the Capitalisation and Gap-filling report which analyses exisitng information on environmental crime and prosecution activity across Europe. The LIFE-ENPE Wokring Groups have started providing their outputs, please see the Working Group pages for more details.