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Environment committee undermines law to protect biodiversity from invasive alien species

The European Parliament’s Environment committee today voted on a proposal to tackle the problem of invasive alien species in the Union. Invasive alien species represent a major threat to native biodiversity in Europe and cause an estimated €12 billion in damage every year. Commenting on the vote, MEP Bas Eickhout, Greens/EFA spokesperson for the environment said:

"What was meant to become a major piece of EU legislation to contain the damage done by invasive alien species to European biodiversity and the European economy has today been undermined with exemptions. I am shocked at the socialist rapporteur’s last minute compromise amendments, which were pushed through the Environment committee vote, basically undermining the whole purpose and effectiveness of the legislation. The rapporteur, Pavel Poc (Czech Republic, S&D) has introduced an open-ended derogation which - in addition to safeguarding the fur farming sector - could empty the legislation of most of its means. 

It is sad that the Environment committee is weakening this Commission's only proposal on biodiversity. I am also disappointed that the socialist group changed position on the issue of genetically modified organisms and excluded them from the scope of the legislation. This goes against clear evidence of transgenes' unintended spread and of their high potential for persistence and invasiveness."