The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called on the EU to criminalize the crime of ecocide, emphasizing that Russia committed it during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
This is stated in the statement of the ESC published on Friday.
At its April plenary meeting, the Social and Economic Committee adopted an opinion on the right to a healthy environment in the European Union, in particular in the context of the war in Ukraine, calling for the criminalization of Russia's actions in accordance with European law.
"The Social and Economic Committee, together with the European Parliament, calls for the recognition of ecocide as a criminal offense under EU law. The EESC believes that this will help to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine and prevent similar environmental disasters in the future," the statement reads.
The committee also calls on the EU to document and assess the environmental consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in order to legally protect the environment and create a framework for environmentally and socially just post-war reconstruction that meets international standards.
According to the EU's Social and Economic Committee, the hostilities have led to the destruction of large areas of forests, and air and water pollution - despite the fact that Ukraine accounts for 35% of Europe's biodiversity.
The EEC is one of the four consultative bodies of the European Union, established in 1957. It is composed of 329 representatives of employers, trade unionists, and representatives of social, professional, economic, and cultural organizations.
Author - Olena Madiak, 05/05/2023