Romania in three infringement procedures
EC urges Romania to stop illegal logging, adopt air pollution controls and transpose anti-money laundering directive.
Articol de Arina Petrovici, 12 Februarie 2020, 21:03
European Commission urges Romania to stop illegal logging, to adopt national air pollution control programs and to transpose the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.
RRA Reporter Arina Petrovici: The Commission is urging Romania to properly implement the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prevents timber companies from producing and placing on the EU market products made from illegally harvested logs. In the case of Romania, the national authorities have been unable to effectively check the operators and apply appropriate sanctions. Inconsistences in the national legislation do not allow Romanian authorities to check large amounts of illegally harvested timber. In addition, the Commission has found that the Romanian authorities manage forests, including by authorizing logging, without evaluating beforehand the impacts on protected habitats as required under the Habitats Directive and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directives. Furthermore, there are shortcomings in the access of the public to environmental information in the forest management plans. The Commission also found that protected forest habitats have been lost within protected Natura 2000 sites in breach of the Habitats and Birds Directives. Therefore, the Commission decided today to send a letter of formal notice to Romania, giving it one month to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion to the Romanian authorities.
The Commission urges Romania, Greece and Malta to adopt their first national air pollution control programs and to communicate them to the Commission, as required under Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants. Under this Directive, Member States are obliged to draw up, adopt and implement their respective programs to limit their annual emissions. The Directive aims at achieving levels of air quality that do not give rise to significant negative impacts on and risks to human health and the environment. Member States should have provided their first national air pollution control programs to the Commission by 1 April 2019. Despite previous reminders, Greece, Malta and Romania have until now failed to meet their obligations. The Commission has therefore decided to issue a letter of formal notice giving the countries two months to reply, adopt and communicate their plans within this deadline. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion to the Romanian, Greek and Maltese authorities.
The Commission has sent letters of formal notice to Cyprus, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain for not having notified any implementation measures for the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5th AML). Anti-money laundering rules are instrumental in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. Recent money laundering scandals have revealed the need for stricter rules at EU level. Legislative gaps occurring in one Member State have an impact on the EU as a whole. That is why EU rules should be implemented and supervised efficiently in order to combat crime and protect our financial system. All Member States had to implement the rules of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive by 10 January 2020. The Commission regrets that the Member States in question have failed to transpose the Directive in a timely manner and encourages them all to do so urgently, bearing in mind the importance of these rules for the EU's collective interest. Without a satisfactory response from Member States within 2 months, the Commission may decide to send them reasoned opinions.
Source:RRA, European Commission Newsroom