Commission presents policy options for EU strategy on invasive species
The European Commission presented a series of policy options for developing a strategy to deal with species from abroad which are threatening European biodiversity. Invasive species are a major threat to native plants and animals in Europe. One such example is the Harlequin ladybird, originally from Asia, which poses a deadly threat to native ladybirds in the UK, as well as to butterflies and other insects. Invasive species can disrupt local flora and fauna and cause considerable damage to nature and human health. They can also have significant economic impacts: controlling invasive species and repairing the damage they do is estimated to cost European economies at least €12 billion each year. Although some EU countries have legislation to protect their national biodiversity, there is no harmonised approach across the EU. The Communication puts forward a number of policy options for a coordinated approach and measures that can be put in place immediately, including a Europe-wide early warning system to report new and emerging species.