Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-04-08-Speech-1-095"

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"Mr President, if the Community wants to take seriously the task of protecting the environment, it cannot and must not limit itself to the mere enactment of protection standards. It must also make it its business to see that the relevant regulations are complied with. If the machinery of mere sanctions is not sufficient, it must be possible to bring the big stick of the criminal law to bear – only, of course, in important and exceptional cases and with due regard for the division of secondary responsibilities, both in matters of environmental protection and – indeed, above all – in matters of criminal law. Thus far, almost all the groups in this House approve this Commission proposal and the amendments to it by the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy, for which we can warmly thank the House's rapporteur, Mrs Oomen-Ruijten. Some of us fear that this proposal opens the door too wide, paving the way for uniform European law on the environment and perhaps eventually even for a European environmental agency with powers comparable to those of the FBI. Such concerns are groundless. None of these things is envisaged. The right tool has been chosen – a directive to be transposed by the Member States – and an array of amendments ensures that it does not trespass upon the core area of the competence of the State and of the civil and criminal courts. These are virtually the words used by Amendment No 30, which makes explicit reference to extradition, for example, being envisaged only where there is provision for it in the Member State's own legislation. By this modus operandi, we are using the right instruments in pursuit of an important Community objective. The proposals made by Mrs Oomen-Ruijten and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy should therefore be approved."@en1

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