The European Commission on Wednesday decided to warn Romania to take urgent action in order to stop illegal logging. it sent a letter of formal notice to Romania to take the necessary measures in this within a month - a first step in the infringement procedure.
The Commission said it was "urging Romania to properly implement the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prevents timber companies from producing and placing on the EU market products made from illegally harvested logs.
"In the case of Romania, the national authorities have been unable to effectively check the operators and apply appropriate sanctions. Inconsistences in the national legislation do not allow Romanian authorities to check large amounts of illegally harvested timber. In addition, the Commission has found that the Romanian authorities manage forests, including by authorising logging, without evaluating beforehand the impacts on protected habitats as required under the Habitats Directive and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directives," the Commission says.
"Furthermore, there are shortcomings in the access of the public to environmental information in the forest management plans. The Commission also found that protected forest habitats have been lost within protected Natura 2000 sites in breach of the Habitats and Birds Directives.
Therefore, the Commission decided today to send a letter of formal notice to Romania, giving it one month to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion to the Romanian authorities," it warns.