How many plants can be found in the Alps that are not native to that region? Which animals were deliberately or accidently introduced to the Danube? How big a threat will they become to local wildlife? EASIN, the European Alien Species Information Network, launched today by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), takes a first step towards answering these and other questions related to 16 000 alien species currently reported all over Europe. This information network – the first of its kind in Europe – is an important step to deal with the threat of alien species that become invasive. Invasive species present a serious threat to biodiversity and natural resources, with an economic impact estimated at around € 12 billion per year.
As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle. Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners.