European Commission takes steps towards tackling invasive alien species 

The European Commission has published its first list of invasive alien species (IAS) which identifies 37 non-native plants and animals that are of a significant threat to the environment in the European Union. Invasive Alien Species are animals and plants that are introduced accidently or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found.

When these species start to breed in the wilderness they can cause huge damages and represent a major threat to native plants and animals competing with them for food, eating them, spreading diseases and inter-breeding. In addition, some invasive alien species have had devastating impacts on native flora and fauna, such as for example the raccoon, which kills native breeding birds and their chicks. Nowadays in EU we have over 1200 invasive alien species and damages caused by them cost approximately 12 to 20 billion Euros per year. 

The list of invasive alien species will be updated regularly to include further invasive species. Nonetheless the Commission is currently working on a second list which will include species impacting trees like: ash leaf maple (Acer negundo), or tree species Acacia dealbata and Prunus campanulata. According to Article 4(2) of the Regulation, the Commission should undertake a review of the Union list at least every six years and in the meantime, update it, as appropriate.

Please follow this link to access Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1141 of 13 July 2016 adopting a list of invasive alien species of Union concern pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council