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Law Development, Enforcement and Compliance

The topic area provides assistance in environmental law development; the enforcement and implementation of national and international legislation; progress monitoring and compliance checking; the transposition and implementation of the EU environmental acquis; and combating environmental crime.


The topic area aims to:

  • support the efficient and effective development of comprehensive legislative frameworks in compliance with the EU environmental acquis through the application of a regional strategic approach that encourages dialogue and cooperation, the sharing of outputs and solutions, and the joint implementation of activities;
  • support the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements;
  • increase the effectiveness of enforcement agencies, inspectorates, the judiciary, police and other relevant bodies in relation to compliance with environmental legislation;
  • improve the exchange of experience and knowledge with EU member states through stronger cooperation with enforcement networks, as well as through training and exchange programmes;
  • develop enforcement capacities in target countries in order to reduce the incidence of specific crimes in the environmental field; and
  • strengthen regional and international networking among environmental inspectors, permit writers, judges, prosecutors and police by creating a new regional network for combating illegal lodging and environmental crime.


The topic area carries out legal analyses and develops capacity-building and legal governance tools, including principles, voluntary codes, and instruments on issues of regional importance. It also contributes to the development of systems of legal responsibility, such as civil and criminal liability. It works in cooperation with government bodies such as ministries and agencies responsible for both the development and enforcement of legislation, the judiciary, the European Commission, and international organisations and institutions.

Specific activities include:

  • Assisting in the transposition and implementation of the EU environmental acquis by offering provisions for progress monitoring and compliance checking.
  • Assisting in the practical implementation and enforcement of environmental legislation by providing capacity building to enforcement agencies and inspectorates.
  • Drafting technical assessments analysing the conformity of member states’ national measures with certain directives in the environmental sector.
  • Assisting in the enforcement of environmental crime legislation by providing capacity building to police officers, prosecutors and customs officers and by raising the awareness of the courts and magistrates.
  • Assisting in the design of national and regional action plans for combating illegal logging and providing capacity-building programmes focusing on forest management and combating illegal logging.
  • Assistance in promoting the Governance Principles on Foreign Direct Investment in Hazardous Activities.
  • Facilitating bilateral arrangements for the transboundary management of water resources.