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Consultation on a dedicated legislative instrument on invasive alien species

Policy field(s)

Environment, transport, trade, internal market, agriculture and rural development, maritime affairs and fisheries, public health, climate action, taxation

Target group(s)

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from stakeholder organisations and Member States.

Period of consultation

                        From 27.01.2012  to 12.04.2012

Objective of the consultation

Invasive alien species (IAS) are species whose introduction and/or spread, outside their natural past or present distribution, threatens biological diversity. They may cause serious damage not only to ecosystems but also to crops and livestock, disrupting the local ecology, impacting on human health and producing serious economic effects.

While some EU instruments are dealing with the other major causes of biodiversity loss - namely habitat change, climate change, overexploitation and pollution – there is currently no comprehensive instrument at EU level to tackle invasive alien species. Responding to this gap, the Commission adopted a Communication by the Commission: "Towards an EU Strategy on Invasive Species (2008)".

In 2011, the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 was launched, including the target: "by 2020, Invasive Alien Species (IAS) and their pathways are identified and prioritised, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and pathways are managed to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS" and an action aiming at filling policy gaps in combating IAS by developing a dedicated legislative instrument by 2012:
COM(2011) 244

The Commission is preparing a dedicated legislative instrument on Invasive Alien Species. In preparation of this instrument the Commission is now seeking views on the more specific choices to be made when establishing this instrument.

How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

  • If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, please click here to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire


Reference documents and other, related consultations

Preparatory documents are available from following website.

Contact details

responsible service

DG Environment, Unit B2 – Biodiversity


postal address

European Commission
DG Environment – Unit B.2
BU-5 05/142
B-1049 Brussels

Reason why the consultation period is less than 12 weeks

In 2008, a working group of Member States and stakeholders organisations was established, resulting in a discussion paper.

An online public consultation was published on Your Voice in Europe from 3 March 2008 to 5 May 2008, attracting 880 replies, three quarters of them from individuals. Feedback was provided by means of an online summary report.

A stakeholder consultation was organised in Brussels on 3 September 2010, based on an open call and attracting 62 participants, representing a broad range of interests, including from Member States ministries and institutions, NGOs, interest groups, trade associations and research centres. All details are available online.

Following the consultation further written contributions were collected.

Furthermore, the Invasive Alien Species working group that contributed to the 2008 Communication "Towards an EU Strategy on Invasive Species" was reorganised and its membership renewed: the group was organised in three working groups to work on specific aspects of the issue of IAS. The Working Groups process was launched in December 2010 and continued until July 2011, with the participation of Member States representatives and stakeholder organisations, representing a broad range of interests. Following a call for expression of interest, a selection was made, based on the willingness to take on an active role in the Working Group and privileging representatives from organisations with European membership. Selections were made also on a sectoral basis, seeking to ensure an adequately balanced and a fair representation of stakeholders. The three Working Groups met twice and the work was articulated around three main topic areas (1) prevention, (2) early warning and rapid response and (3) eradication, control/management and restoration of damaged ecosystems. Main results and positions expressed have been summarized by stakeholders in ten dedicated reports.

This latest consultation, therefore, builds on a solid basis of contributions from the whole spectrum of interests  groups and involving Member States representation. The focus is on the policy measures being considered, which are based on the input and feedback collected from all relevant stakeholders in the process that started in 2008. The Consultation builds therefore on material collected in a participative manner from all sectors involved and focuses on very specific policy choices formulated in a rather limited number of questions. A shorter period of consultation is therefore justified. 

Number of responses received to this consultation

View the contributions

In the interests of transparency, organisations have been invited to provide the public with relevant information about themselves by registering in the Interest Representative Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If the organisation is not registered, the submission is published separately from the registered organisations.

View the results.

Results of consultation and next steps

Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement