Fighting Illegal logging and associated trade: Cooperation between the EU and EU Candidate Countries and Potential Candidates on Implementation of the EU Timber Regulation

Date: 02-03.06.2016
Place: Zagreb, Croatia
Organizer: ECRAN Secretariat with EC TAIEX Unit

Illegal logging represents a persistent problem, threating forest ecosystems and biodiversity, fostering corruption, decreasing state revenues, and depressing legally-harvested timber prices. There is no common definition of "what is illegal logging", but it is described in different forms and to varying extents in forest laws. However, the existing legislative framework is not sufficient for legal enforcement.

ECRAN beneficiary countries have indicated their wish to join the EU. Gaining entrance to the EU is conditional and depends upon developing country specific strategies to meet EU requirements as well as regional cooperation. During this process, they must harmonise their laws with the EU legislation and its international principles. Thus, the process of accession is a demanding one implying changes in the environmental legislation and governance of each country. In this context the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) is part of the body of Community law and regulations that need to be incorporated in order to fulfil EU-adherence requirements. EUTR offers many opportunities to the candidate and potential candidates in their fight against illegal logging and their pursuit of good governance. The incorporation and implementation of EUTR can additionally have positive impacts on the timber industries and timber markets both in the candidate and potential candidates and the EU.

General Objective of the Mission

Fostering cooperation and information exchange and ensuring transparency and legitimacy in the process of preparation to incorporate and implement EUTR in the candidate and potential candidates.

Specific Objectives

  • Inform, raise awareness and explain the different contents of EUTR to relevant stakeholders and actors in the candidate and potential candidates;
  • Address the challenges and opportunities that the regulation represents for each target country, taking into account specific environmental, societal and economical aspects;
  • Share and learn from the EUTR implementation experiences in EU countries;
  • Address the current state of illegal logging in the candidate and potential candidates and establish the relevance of the EUTR to each case;
  • Build closer relations between the EUTR competent authorities in the EU Member States and authorities in candidate and potential candidates;
  • Prepare authorities in candidate and potential candidates for possible participation in official meeting at the EU level.

Expected Results of the meeting

The expected results are:

  • Enhanced capacities to better implement EU Timber Regulation;
  • Enhanced cooperation between EUTR competent authorities of EU Member States and those in EU enlargement countries.