EU Parliament addresses illegal logging threats in Romania

heavy machine in Romania

When will the European Commission finally react to the ongoing felling of Romania's old-growth forests?

© Matthias Schickhofer

From May 15 to 18, 2023, several Members of the European Parliament visited Romania to investigate the management of the brown bear population and combat illegal logging. The fact-finding mission to Romania was a response to petitions from Romanian citizens concerned about the threats to their lives due to advocating for forest protection against illegal logging. On November 29th, the Parliament adopted the fact-finding mission report with recommendations for the Commission, highlighting that Romania has not sufficiently progressed in tackling illegal logging since the start of the Commission’s infringement procedure.

In particular, the report specifies that logging in Romanian protected areas can be considered illegal and should be treated as a crime with zero tolerance. The report also called for the management of public forests to be based on environmental assessments and urged the Commission to establish an EU Green Prosecutor through a legislative proposal.

This report is a great step forward in addressing the illegal logging in Romanian protected forests. In addition to the report recommendations, we urge the Commission to be invited to the Petition Committee to further address their views on illegal permits, stress the importance of environmental impact assessments, and why Romania has yet to be referred to the European Court of Justice due to insufficient progress, and discuss a possibility of a moratorium to ongoing logging in protected areas until adequate impact assessments are conducted.

Background information:
It has been four years since EuroNatur and its Romanian and legal partners, Agent Green and Client Earth, first alerted the European Commission of the destruction of protected forests in Romania. Field investigations have shown that vast areas have been destroyed, including remote forests over 150 years old. Yet, logging in Romanian protected areas is still prevalent despite the European Commission opening an infringement procedure against Romania in 2020.

Help us in our call to stop illegal logging by signing our petition!


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