Ireland facing EU action over biodiversity law failings

Ireland facing EU action over biodiversity law failings

Ireland has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for failing to introduce penalties for breaches of EU biodiversity rules.

The Invasive Alien Species Regulation, which came into force nearly a decade ago, obliges EU member states to take effective measures to prevent invasive species from spreading.

Invasive alien species are one of the five major causes of biodiversity loss in Europe and worldwide. They represent a major threat to native plants and animals in Europe, causing an estimated damage of €12 billion per year to the European economy.

The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Ireland in January 2019 for failure to adopt and to notify the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the Regulation. A reasoned opinion was issued on the same grounds in November 2019.

Because Ireland has so far not established and notified the penalties applicable to the breaches of the regulation, the Commission today said it is referring Ireland to the CJEU.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said in October that Irish legislation on invasive alien species is “at an advanced stage”.

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