REPORT – Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment in South-East Europe

Regional conference from November 13-16 2023, National Park of Plitvice, Croatia


🌐 Regional conference “Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment in south-east Europe” from November 13-16 2023, National Park of Plitvice in Croatia, was organised by the French Embassy in Croatia and the DCIS. After joining the European Union in 2013, Croatia will join the euro zone and the Schengen area on January 1 2023. It joins the 17 Member States of the European Union (EU) that are both in the euro zone and the Schengen area. As a reminder, some EU Member States are neither in the euro zone nor in the Schengen area. As a speaker at the Regional conference, I invite you to read the report.

Mr Fabien FIESCHI, French ambassador in Croatia © Valérie Desforges

Mr Ambassador,

We are here at the “STRENGTHENING THE FIGHT AGAINST CRIMES THAT AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT IN SOUTH-EAST EUROPE” conference. Why this Franco-Croatian conference from 13 to 16 November 2023 and why the choice of the Plitvice Lakes National Park?

The first thing is that the French President and the Croatian Prime Minister signed a strategic partnership in 2021, one of the aims of which is to put the Franco-Croatian relationship at the service of security, and in particular at the service of European and regional security.

And of course, here in Croatia we are on one of the borders of the European Union and of course if we want to work on European security, this was confirmed many times this morning including by the representative of the European Commission: crime unfortunately knows no borders and therefore if we want to work on the security of our countries and the European Union we absolutely must also work with the Balkan countries. So the idea of this conference is to organise something in French and Croatian for the benefit of all the countries in the region.

Why here? Croatia is a privileged partner of France in the region, and a member of the European Union. It is a state governed by the Rule of Law and they are good partners in terms of cooperation and security. Croatia has a strong police force and institutions.

And why Plitvice lake? It’s Croatia’s great national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is magnificent and it’s also a great place to meet up and talk about the environment.

What are the expectations of the conference’s participants?

After the first session this morning, and this is only the beginning of the conference, we can already see that some participants have mentioned differences in legislation.

Much has been said about France, but there are also Spain and Italy, which may have many criminal offences in their criminal law relating to environmental crimes. And the observation that other countries in the region, particularly those that are not yet members of the European Union, and even EU member states, do not yet have sufficiently strong legislation to punish environmental crimes.

The European Commission is currently working on draft directives that should enable the European Union to harmonise legislation to some extent and introduce minimum sentences for crimes against the environment. This will be a first step.

Then, as most of the countries in the region have the prospect of joining the European Union, it is a challenge for them to try to adapt their legislation and bring it into line with what will be expected of them in the future.

So there’s a legislative aspect and then there are organisational issues: comparing how these crimes are dealt with at interdepartmental police service level, with the justice system, with customs and with the Ministry of Agriculture.

We were able to present our experience by creating an interministerial body to deal with these issues. But there are also technological issues: one participant talked about the fact that the Romanians have put in place technologies to combat illegal timber trafficking, using sound detectors in the forests to hear the arrival of vehicles and the sounds of chainsaws so that the security forces can intervene.

All of which is to say that there is a great deal to be gained from sharing best practice.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia © Valérie Desforges

« Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment
in south-east Europe
Regional conference from November 13-16 2023, National Park of Plitvice

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment © French Ambassy in Croatia


The context

→ The protection of the environment, a vital priority for Europe, requires the creation of national systems capable of enforcing the law.

The fight against environmental crime has become a priority in European public policies and regulations[1]. In addition to adapting national legislation, the fight against environmental crime, which sometimes comes under organized crime, presupposes that States creates specialized capacities for the repression of crimes that affect the environment[2] and the health of populations, in particular at the level of law enforcement and criminal justice.
This is the case in France, with the Environment and Health Command (CESAN) of the national gendarmerie and the Central Office for the Fight against Damage to the Environment and Public Health (OCLAESP) for investigations criminals. On the Justice side, these are the specialized offices of the courts of law, in particular in Paris and Marseille.

[1] EU Directive of 2008 on the protection of the environment through criminal law and proposal for a directive under negotiation [2] Resolution of 16 October 2020 of the Committee of the Parties to the Palermo Convention

→ Challenges in South East Europe:

 – for EU member countries, the objective is to improve the fight against environmental crime and its consequences on public health.
– for countries aspiring to join the EU, the objective is to adapt their national legislation to promote convergence with community regulations, but also to adopt a national strategy and create specialized state structures.
– for all, in particular because South Eastern Europe is a transit zone for European flows, the challenge is to improve regional cooperation in the fight against environmental crime, in particular the trafficking or burial of inert and dangerous waste[1], trafficking in protected species[2] or illegal deforestation.

[1] Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Waste Trafficking. [2] Washington CITES Convention.


In the framework of the strategic partnership, France and Croatia have taken the initiative of proposing to their partners the holding of a regional conference dedicated to “strengthening the fight against crime affecting the environment”. This event, opened by representatives of the French and Croatian governments as well as representatives of the European Commission, brings together:
– relevant international and regional organizations and European networks: UNO-DC, Europol, Frontex, SELEC, IMPEL, ENPE, EUFJE, EnviCrim.
– representatives of civil society: academics, NGOs.
– high level representatives of law enforcement and justice: France, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Slovakia, Romania, Poland.


Panel 1: Civil society commitment
Panel 2: The action of international organizations & networks
Panel 3: Environmental crime: a challenge for Law and Justice
Panel 4: State of art and best practices for law enforcement agencies.
Final Panel: Conclusions and Closing remarks


Panel 1. Civil society commitment

Environment and citizenship in Southeast Europe, implementation of public policies, the role of law, interactions between NGOs, citizens and the authorities, involvement of academics.

Moderators: Dr Aleksandar MARSAVELSKI, Professor, Faculty of law, University of Zagreb & Miss Konfidentielle, editor, journalist, Paris

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Panel 1 © French Ambassy in Croatia

Dr Aleksandar MARSAVELSKI, Professor, Faculty of law, University of Zagreb
« In his introductory speech, Professor Maršavelski discussed the drafting of the 2011 Croatian Criminal Code, with a focus on Crimes against the environment (Chapter 20. of the Code). He argued that the new Criminal Code, which entered into force in 2013, is more comprehensive and protective of the environment than the previous one. The drafting process was open and democratic, with input from citizens, environmental organizations, and government agencies. He highlighted some of the new provisions in the Code, such as the expansion of the mens rea for a number of environmental crimes to negligence and the so-called crimes of abstract endangerment, as well as the introduction of eight new environmental crimes. He concluded that the implementation of the progressive eco-centricstandards of the new environmental crimes provisions cannot be successful without education and training of all relevant actors for inspections, investigations and prosecutions of environmental crimes. It is also essential to intensify other regulatory activities beyond criminal law, which is the last resort (ultima ratio) in preventing and combating environmental crimes ».

Miss Konfidentielle
« Editor and journalist of the French online media created in 2018. She is active on the LinkedIn social network.
She is passionate about security issues in France, Europe and internationally. She is committed to promoting the security forces (gendarmerie, police) and covering the latest news. Environmental protection is a major current issue. The media is read by ministries, AFP, major media, companies and the general public in France and abroad ».

Brigitte MRVELJ ČEČATKA, State inspectorate, Zagreb
« Considering the topics of the panel 1 from the inspection point of view I would say that simplicity, clarity and conformity in national regulations is first step for successful compliance. Legal experts should be involved in the drafting of regulations in more professional way.
Also, the practitioners’ experiences related to problems in the implementation of regulations should be taken into account when writing regulations. Given the extremely large number of regulations in environmental legislation I strongly believe that systematic and continuous education in environmental sector should be mandatory. Besides expertise, intelligence led investigations and cooperation in that sense is a key to strengthening the fight against environmental crimes. As highlighted in the Commission’s Environmental Implementation Review not all member states are implementing EU rules equally effectively. The Commission’s policy on environmental compliance assurance includes also cooperating with European networks of   environmental enforcement practitioners. European networks of environmental enforcement practitioners have proven to be a place of synergy and empowering those organisations will improve environmental compliance assurance ».

Sofia ELEFTHERIADOU, Director of South inspectorate, Ministry of environment and Energy, Athens
« The Hellenic Environmental Inspectorate in the context of the fight against environmental crime, carries out on-site inspections, using advanced tools, such as drones, surveys, cameras…
The Hellenic Environmental Inspectorate cooperates with international organizations, bilaterally with member states of the European Union and participates in many joint inspections. He also participates in the LIFE PROWhIBIT project – Prevent Of Waste Crime By Intelligence as Coordinating Beneficiary to develop: National Strategy, Coordination of all complaints from all over the country concerning environmental Crimes, Assessment of current situation in combating Environmental Waste Crime, Identification of existing good practices and training material, Development of database of key international and national Environmental Waste Crime actors ».

Enes ĆERIMAGIĆ, Zelena Akcija (Green Action, Croatian NGO), Emilie VAN DER HENST, Traffic (International NGO) Milan GAZDIĆ, Director of Environment Protection Agency, Podgorica Andréa FERRET-LAMBERT, French biodiversity office, Paris.

Panel 2. The action of international organisations and networks

Presentation of the programs and activities of international organisations and networks, joint efforts to fight environmental crime, situation in South East Europe.

Moderators: Jean-Luc LEFOUR, Brigadier general, Europe Sub-Director, Paris (DCIS) & Ana Isabel Tété GARCIA, IMPEL (European Union network for the implementation & enforcement of environmental law)

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Panel 2 © French Ambassy in Croatia

Dr Oğuz Serkant AKIN, Director General, SELEC (Southeast European Law Enforcement Center)
« Environmental crimes can be complex and require coordinated efforts from different agencies at local, national, and international levels. A successful fight against environmental crimes might be achieved by developing a comprehensive strategy that includes legal, technological, educational and law enforcement measures to protect the environment and public health.
SELEC’s primary mission is to enhance and to facilitate the cooperation among law enforcement agencies of its Members States and Operational Partners in order to combat transnational crime, organized crime, and other forms of criminal activities. SELEC’s operational activities are conducted within the frames of eight Task Forces. Task Forces assume joint cooperation and participation of SELEC Member States law enforcement representatives, aiming to share information, best practices and effective crime-fighting and prevention tools in the Southeast European region.
Considering that the crimes committed against the environment and nature are a real threat in Europe and only common efforts of responsible law enforcement authorities in the region are needed, SELEC Environmental and Nature Related Crimes Task Force was set up at the initiative of the Hungarian National Police aiming at effectively contributing to diminish the damages caused by the trans-border environmental criminality.
Since SEE has become a target area for waste generated in Western and Central European countries for many years, SELEC supported the Member States to enhance the coordination in combating transnational organized waste crimes. In 2022, together with Hungary, SELEC organized Regional Operation TOX targeting illegal trafficking and disposing of waste. It was operated by the National Customs, Police and Environmental Authorities of SELEC Member States while external partners from Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom supported the operation.
The overall objective of the TOX Regional Operation is to enhance international communication, cooperation and coordination in connection with waste crimes while other important aims are to notify the current situation of waste movements in the points of entry (ports, land borders), and inland of the SELEC region and to maintain awareness in the highest possible level whether risk analysis indicates other forms of potential threats.
The participating Member States have conducted up to 4,277 inspections leading to 26 seizures and detections. Additionally, a total of 50 administrative/penal procedures were initiated during the operational phase.
During the Regional Operation TOX, the information exchanged, the detections made and the national evaluation reports have highlighted several routes for waste trafficking connected to SELEC Member States.
Considering the successful results, in August 2023, SELEC hosted TOX regional meeting regarding the current situation of environment and nature related crimes and then the Regional Operation TOX 2023 was conducted.
During the Regional Operation TOX, the information exchanged, the detections made and the national evaluation reports have highlighted several routes for waste trafficking connected to SELEC Member States.
Considering the successful results, in August 2023, SELEC hosted TOX regional meeting regarding the current situation of environment and nature related crimes and then the Regional Operation TOX 2023 was conducted ».

Francisco José ACOSTA DIAZ, EUROPOL (EnviCrimeNet)
« Thank you again for the invitation to Europol to participate in this event and congratulation for the great organization.
My contribution consisted of explanation about the Europol capabilities to support the Environmental Crime Law Enforcement investigations as well as the importance of communicating the operational information via SIENA for storing, crosschecking and analysis of such information. Without SIENA, Europol cannot support any investigation.
Furthermore, I explained the specialised network where Europol participates:- EnviCrimeNet: it was established at strategic level with direct access to EU decision makers. For instance, EnviCrimeNet had an important influence in the new EU Directive to improve the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes that will enter into force soon replacing the current 2008 Directive or the inclusion in 2018 of environmental crime as a new EMPACT Priority, etc.
 – Jaguar Network (EMPACT OA 8.2) at strategic and operational level. The network is formed by 5 EU Mss and 11 LA countries. At strategic level does not have access tools than EnviCrimeNet to the decision makers due to in LA does not exist any supranational authority like in EU, however at operational level the network has improved a lot in the last few years.
– Asian Network (EMPACT OA 8.1) led by France is taking the first steps to create a network of specialized environmental crime units in Asian countries. For the moment it is not so developed as the aforementioned networks.
Regarding alerts: When needed and there is enough information, Europol issues, via SIENA, early warning documents regarding new trends, MOs or imminent threats, addressed to all EU MSs and those third parties with strategic and/or operational agreements with Europol.
From the Law Enforcement perspective, the solution would be the creation of Environmental Crime Specialised Unit in all MSs due to, otherwise, when the environmental crime is investigated by general organized crime investigation units, those units are not devoted only to environmental crime but to any kind of crime. This issue causes that environmental crime is not a priority for them.
Moreover, an important part of the solution would be higher penalties what can be solved through the new Directive which is going to increase the minimum penalties and a greater number of crime types. In summary, the new Directive is going to harmonized our legislation at EU level ».

Dr Tanya WYATT, Lead Researcher, UNODC, Findings from the Global Analysis on Crimes that Affect the Environment, Colin CRAIG, Associate Legal Officer, Global Program on Implementing the Organised Crime Convention, UNODC, Strengthening legislative frameworks to prevent and combat crimes that affect the environment: UNODC’s legislative guides. Alexandre DELEPIERRE, Project Manager, CIVIPOL (French MoI’s operator): European funded projects, Faustino GUDIN RODRIGUEZ-MAGARIÑOS, EUFJE (European Union forum of judges for environment).

Panel 3. Environmental crime: a challenge for Law and Justice

The need for specialization, administrative & criminal law complementing each other, making crime unprofitable, assess and compensate damages, best practices.

Moderators: Faustino GUDIN RODRIGUEZ-MAGARIÑOS, EUFJE, & Fanny BUSSAC, investigating judge, department of environment/public health of the Judicial Court of Paris.

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Panel 3 © French Ambassy in Croatia

«  My presentation is about the role of the rule of law in the defence of the environment. We understand that nature is defenceless and that, outside the legal framework, there are important commercial interests that wish to enrich themselves at its expense.
In this context, it seems decisive to strengthen the mechanisms of the rule of law so that the environment is not left unprotected. To this end, four European organisations are actively working to enforce the law. On the one hand, there are the specialized law enforcement agencies (Envicrminet), on the other hand, there are the environmental ministries and inspection systems (IMPEL), the public prosecutors (ENPE) and the judges (EUFJE).
Each of these organizations is ineffective in isolation, but together they form the 4 judicial networks that act as a unit. At the same time, given the technical and normative complementarity of environmental law which also requires familiarity with certain scientific knowledge, all networks need a higher degree of specialization. Regarding the judges who could better fulfil their functions with the specialized environmental courts that have been appearing in various parts of the world  (for instance Sweden, France, Chile, India, China, etc). Finally, we strongly believe that environmental protection must be comprehensive both at the educational level and if red lines are crossed with administrative sanctions or penalties ».

Marina RAKIĆ, Deputy County state attorney, Zagreb, member of ENPE
« We are so sure that environmental protection is a very important topic. Namely, these kinds of criminal acts violate the preservation of nature and biodiversity.
Prepetrators of criminal acts are enabled to acquire illegal property benefits, often in very large amounments. Its not only about individual cases but also often entire organized actions that destroy nature and living planet and plant and animal life in order to obtain property benefits.  As these criminal acts are on the increase, it is necessary to raise the level of activity and use already existing organisations and mechanisms. It is also necessary to raise the awareness of the population about the harmfulness of committing these crimes. The wider population is one of the key subjects in the detection and reporting of these criminal acts so the population should be educated in this sense so that they would be truly informed about the harmfulness and long-term consequences of such illegal behavior.
One of the important elements is the imposition of stricter criminal legal sanctions. Such punishments should be such that we convey the message to others about the importance of preserving the environments and plant and animal life, especially for the reason that these harmful behaviours cannot so rarely affect human lives and health.
In areas and countires where this is not organized, it is certainly necessary to established specialized police units, prosecutors’ offices and courts, which would contribute to strengthening the rule of law in relation to the perpetrators of these criminal acts ».

Kushtrim SHYTI, judge, First instance Court of Pristina
« One of the topics that I consider to be important is Compensating for damages caused by environmental crimes which is an essential part of the justice process. Several mechanisms may be used to compensate for these damages: Civil Lawsuits; Environmental Restoration Orders; Fines and Penalties; Perpetrators of environmental crimes can be fined or penalized.
The revenue generated from fines and penalties can be used to fund environmental restoration or conservation efforts: Compensation Funds; Government Assistance; Environmental Liability Insurance.
The goal is to ensure that those responsible for causing environmental harm are held accountable and that affected parties receive fair compensation for their losses ».

Suzana MIRCHESKA-KUZMANOSKA, Prosecutor, general Prosecutor’s office for combating organised crime and corruption, Skopje
« Actually, I find few points as useful, maybe more of prosecutor’s point of view. We need to be specialized for combating environmental crime as first of all. Cooperation with other specialized institution could be improved. Give the right to initiating criminal cases to a NGO or civil association engaging private lawyers in the cases when PPO is not interested in or is not convinced, is interesting solution in Spanish law, for example. Civil lawsuit is suitable way for compensation, but without criminal procedure is less effective. Effective criminal procedure is important for improving general awareness about environmental crime and environmental protection as well.
Thank you for possibility to express my favorite point ».

Jasmin ŠOŠE, deputy Prosecutor general, Sarajevo, Edvin KONDILI, Prosecutor, Special corruption and organised crime Prosecutor’s office (SPAK), Tirana, Danijela SINĐELIĆ, chief public Prosecutor, public prosecution, Belgrade.

Panel 4. State of art and best practices in the fight against environmental crimes: law enforcement agencies

State of play, main threats, Organisation of law enforcement agencies, Intelligence gathering and exploitation, Criminal investigations

Moderators: Ivica KROPEK, Head of general crime department, Zagreb & General Ludovic EHRHART chief of OCLAESP, Paris

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Panel 4 © French Ambassy in Croatia

Captain Stylianos MARKOULAKIS, Marine Environment Protection Directorate, Hellenic Coast Gard, Athens
« The legislative framework regulating the management of ships’ waste and tackling the issue of marine pollution from ships consists of International Conventions [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), MARPOL 73/78 etc, EU legislation and national legislation as well.
Taking into consideration that deliberate marine pollution from ships usually takes place in high seas while ships being en route, the detection of marine pollution requires the use of technological means such as satellite imagery, specialized sensors onboard aerial means, chemical analysis of polluting substances’ samples.
Furthermore, since shipping is an international and global activity, for successful identification of the polluter and enforcement of sanctions, international cooperation among different countries (Flag State, Coastal State, Port State) is required, on the basis of the international legislative framework already in place ».

Benjamin FRANCA, Senior specialist criminal police inspector, Ljubljana, Stoyan Georgiev STOYANOV, Environment crime Unit, Sofia, Loreta ALLA, Chief Commissioner, Sector for the Investigation of Environmental Crime and Foreign Jurisdiction, General Police Directorate, Tirana, Major Hugo RODRIGUEZ, OCLAESP, Paris, Lucie-Charlotte HABERMAN, Analyst, DNRED, Paris

Lunch & Continuation of Panel 4

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Panel 4 continuation © French Ambassy in Croatia

Danijel MAUNAGA, EMPACT National Coordinator, Sarajevo; Fisnik KOZNIKU, Environmental crime unit, Pristina; Sashko TOMESKI, Financial Crime Unit, Organised Crime Department, Skopje; Zoran TOMOVIĆ, Department for the fight against corruption, economic crime and conducting financial investigations, Podgorica; Alexandru VASILE, police inspector, Public Order Directorate, Bucarest); Krzysztof MELONEK, representative of the Economic Crime Bureau of the National Police Headquarters, Warsaw

Final Panel: Conclusions and Closing remarks

Main threats identified in Southeast Europe, Environment and European integration, international cooperation, tools, networks, European projects, education, action strategy, proposals

Moderators: General Emmanuel MIGLIERINA, Deputy Director of International Security Cooperation Directorate, Paris & Dalibor JURIĆ, Criminal Police Directorate, Sector for General Crime and International Police Cooperation

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Final panel © French Ambassy in Croatia

1st panel conclusions: Miss Konfidentielle, editor, journalist, Paris
2nd panel conclusions: Jean-Luc LEFOUR, Brigadier general, Europe Sub-Director, Paris (DCIS) & Ana Isabel Tété GARCIA, IMPEL (European Union network for the implementation & enforcement of environmental law)
3rd panel conclusions: Fanny BUSSAC, investigating judge, department of environment and public health of the Judicial Court of Paris
4th panel conclusions: Ivica KROPEK, Head of general crime department, Zagreb & Colonel Ludovic EHRHART chief of OCLAESP, Paris

Miss Konfidentielle
– Common points: low visibility of trafficking, which is complex, lucrative and growing; inadequacy of the fight, low rate of law enforcement, lack of information for citizens, lack of coordination of players, lack of funding, lack of political will, lack of prioritisation, etc.
– This observation calls for greater synergy: co-construction between politicians, European and international organisations, NGOs and the justice system,
– The involvement of the academic community is desirable: contribution to legislative developments, studies (data collection and analysis), training of stakeholders, etc.
– NGOs can play a practical role by producing analyses, managing action programmes, networking public and private players and providing training.
– Environment ministries with enforcement agencies combat environmental damage: links with civil society are daily: e.g. impact assessments, public consultations, legal aid. Some
Personal conclusion: lack of cooperation in the Balkans, group cohesion strengthens the field of possibilities, “nature has no borders”.

Ana Isabel Tété GARCIA, IMPEL
« Thinking of alerts and possible solutions on our topic’s pannel, and using the conclusions already drawn together with Jean-Luc Lefour, the contribution would be:

The main drivers behind the rise of environmental crime are high profit, low detection rates and low risk of punishment, sanctions and pay for reparation costs.
To address these drivers, we need cooperation and collaboration (for synergies) and networking (with no borders) and, addressed in practice by practitioners work in each concrete case,  in every permit, inspection, police action, investigation, prosecution or court case.
Networking with no borders, include different levels, from international, regional and local to strategic level, tactical level and operational, multi and interdisciplinary (air, water, waste, land, nature/administrative, finance). To be successful it needs to be across the compliance chain (legislators, permitters, inspectors, police, prosecutor, judges), integrating not just authorities, but also institutions, including Academia and citizens.
Such cooperation and collaboration for synergies, needs to be built on strong support from the rule of law, both criminal and civil, drawn attending to baseline principles such as prevention and that the polluter must pay. Compliance chain authorities need to work together for specialization, capacity building, and consistent guidelines and procedures, sharing information and data, putting efforts on the analysis of data, report results and trends, identifying nonconformities, understanding problem areas and ensure a feedback loop to address them ».

Final conclusion by general Emmanuel Miglierina

General Emmanuel MIGLIERINA, Deputy Director of International Security Cooperation Directorate, Paris © French Ambassy in Croatia

« The organisation by the DCIS of this regional seminar on the fight against environmental crime reflects the desire of France and the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas France to re-engage in the Western Balkans, within the framework of the guidelines set by the national strategy defined in 2019 and its ministerial implementation in an operational roadmap.
Strengthening our cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkans is an important issue in view of the challenges facing these countries, which are located in our immediate neighbourhood, particularly in terms of internal security and with a view to their European integration.
Through the development of its cooperation in the Balkans, France intends to contribute to the stabilisation of the region, support these countries in their European integration process and work to strengthen the security of the European area.
To this end, over the last few years we have carried out numerous bilateral cooperation initiatives in the fight against illegal immigration, migrant smuggling and the main forms of transnational crime. On a regional level, two major projects are being carried out jointly by the MEAE (DCSD) and the DCIS in the fight against arms trafficking, on the one hand, and cybercrime, through the development of a dedicated training centre in Montenegro, on the other.
We can therefore only welcome the success of this seminar on combating environmental crime, which is a first in the region. The rich discussions that took place enabled us to make a number of enlightening observations about the reality of the criminal threats affecting the environment in each of the countries concerned, the state of national legislation and the resources that these countries devote to dealing with these threats. On the basis of these findings, and drawing on the national expertise of the gendarmerie’s new environment and health command and its attached central office for combating environmental and public health offences (OCLAESP), we will be able to consider ways of enhancing our cooperation with these countries in the future.

We are therefore starting to think about ways of maintaining the positive momentum generated at Plitvice, which we hope will lead to greater overall effectiveness in the fight against these threats to our environment and hence to the safety, health and well-being of our populations ».

The regional conference was an opportunity to discover Plitvice National Park in Croatia.

Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment © French Embassy in Croatia

Thank you to the speakers who responded positively to my proposal to write a text for this report !

Congratulations to Mr Fabien FIESCHI and his team from the French Embassy in Croatia, General Emmanuel MIGLIERINA, Jean-Luc LEFOUR and teams, Dimitri ZOULAS, Regional Home Affair Attaché, Balkans coordinator, at the French Embassy in Croatia, for their excellent organisation of the conference.

I would like to thank Mrs. Sophie HATT, Director of International Security Cooperation Directorate, M. Frederic VEAUX and general Christian RODRIGUEZ for their confidence. An excellent experience.
Miss Konfidentielle.

Dimitri ZOULAS, Miss Konfidentielle, Emmanuel MIGLIERINA © Valérie Desforges


Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Croatia © French Ambassy in Croatia
Strengthening the fight against crimes that affect the environment Croatia © French Ambassy in Croatia

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