The European Commission has urged Romania to stop illegal logging in the country and properly implement the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) on the management of harvested logs, local Digi24 reported.
In a letter of formal notice sent to Romania on Wednesday, February 12, the Commission says that the Romanian 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 authorising logging, without evaluating beforehand the impacts on protected habitats as required under the Habitats Directive and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directives,” the EC said.
The Commission also said that there are shortcomings in the public’s access to environmental information in Romania’s forest management plans. In addition, it also found that “protected forest habitats have been lost within protected Natura 2000 sites in breach of the Habitats and Birds Directives.”
Thus, the European Commission decided to send a letter of formal notice to Romania, giving it one month to take the necessary measures to address the identified shortcomings. Otherwise, the EC may decide to send a reasoned opinion to the Romanian authorities.
Also on Wednesday, the European Commission urged Romania, Greece and Malta to adopt their first national air pollution control programmes and communicate them to the EC. The request is linked to a EU Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants. Under this Directive, EU Member States are obliged to draw up, adopt and implement their respective programmes to limit their annual emissions, the EC explained.
Member States should have provided their first national air pollution control programmes to the Commission by April 1, 2019, but Romania, Greece and Malta failed to meet their obligations.
(Photo source: ID 27697181 © Rusadina78/Dreamstime.com)
ID 27697181 © Rusadina78/Dreamstime.com)
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