Invasive alien species (IAS) cost the EU an estimated EUR 12 billion per year, prompting the European Commission to push for an EU-wide approach to tackle the issue. The phenomenon, which occurs when plants and animals are deliberately or unintentionally introduced by human action to a new environment where they establish, reproduce and proliferate, is causing serious problems for biodiversity. The dedicated legal instrument aims to tackle the problem through a new harmonised system and a shift from “cure” to “prevention”.
At the start of the 21st century, three of the main challenges for Europe are: creating jobs, boosting the economy and protecting the environment. Fortunately, these are rarely conflicting goals. In fact, numerous studies show that investments in green technologies – such as recycling waste, renewable energies or insulating houses - leads to a net increase in jobs. One of the key features of the EU's response to the current economic crisis is to emphasise the job-creating potential of the green economy, both as part of the European Recovery Plan and the European Commission's proposals to tackle the impact of the crisis on employment.