The Workshop “Countering Environmental Crime” took place in Pristina from 26 – 27 November 2019 and was supported by the IPA/2017 Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans Project, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and the Police Directorate of Kosovo.

The workshop aimed to provide an updated analysis of the activities carried out by the Law Enforcement Agencies in the Western Balkans engaged in the fight against environmental crime. The workshop was an occasion to present the best practice of the Italian National Anti-Mafia Directorate and Italian Carabinieri Specialized Operational Unit in the prevention and repression of environmental crime.

During the workshop, the application of a new multidisciplinary and integrated approach to combating environmental crime – “remote sensing” technology – was outlined using a real case, and an in-depth analysis of industrial flows to identify the dynamics of waste disposal in a waste disposal company was also discussed.

Participants shared their best practices and pointed out effective and cutting-edge methodologies used during investigations in their specific fields.  The workshop intended not only to raise awareness about the current and delicate issue related to illegal waste disposal, but also to enhance the commitment of the Law Enforcement Agencies in the Western Balkans when it comes to the fight against illicit waste disposal and illegal waste trafficking.

On the last day of the workshop, 27 November 2019, the President of the EU Commission Ursula Von der Leyen reflected the aims of the workshop when she made big promises to the Members of the European Parliament during her speech in Strasbourg. She stated that environmental protection is “our most urgent task”.