EFFACE - short for “European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime" - was a 40-month EU funded research project. Eleven European research institutions and think tanks were involved. EFFACE assessed the impacts of environmental crime as well as effective and feasible policy options for combating it from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a focus on the EU. It ended in March 2016.
The final synthesis of EFFACE is now available. The report is addressed at decision-makers. It presents core findings of EFFACE in an accessible language.
The final synthesis report draws on previous publicaitons and work conducted in the project. The EFFACE work on data and impacts, highlights the often incomplete nature of data on environmental crime. It shows the difficulties in estimating the impacts of environmental crime in a quantitative manner. This is illustrated using the examples of poaching, illegal waste exports from the EU to China and forest fires.
Summarising EFFACE research on actors, instruments and institutions, the report describes the most important instruments at the EU level dealing with environmental crime. With regard to the Member States it sheds light on national legal frameworks on environmental crime as well as the functioning of enforcement institutions.
A further section is dedicated to weaknesses in the EU's efforts to address environmental crime in nine areas, including e.g. the system of sanctions or the role of NGOs. This section is based on the EFFACE report on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to the EU's approach in combatting environmental crime.
In the final section, the report presents the most important policy recommendations developed by EFFACE; a more extended version of these recommendations is published in a self-standing report.
Throughout the report, boxes highlight important insights from the EFFACE case studies.