On 28 June 2016 the Council adopted its conclusions on the evaluation of the FLEGT action plan (forest law enforcement, governance and trade) and of the EU timber regulation (EUTR).
In particular, these conclusions highlight the positive contribution that both instruments have made in reducing EU imports of illegal timber and increasing the awareness of the general public and market operators about the issue of illegal logging.
"STRESSES that Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) have proved to be a valuable instrument in promoting and improving forest governance, especially through the establishment of effective multi-stakeholder participation processes, clarification of legal frameworks, policy reforms, increased transparency and accountability and awareness raising";
"WELCOMES the significant progress in implementation of the EU-Indonesia FLEGT VPA and the recent announcement about the readiness of Indonesia to start FLEGT licensing";
"EMPHASISES that effective implementation of the EUTR will have a reinforcing effect on VPA implementation and will thus add value to the EU FLEGT Action Plan and URGES Member States to contribute to this….NOTES concerns about reported gaps and inconsistencies in the products covered by the Regulation, which may affect the effectiveness of the Regulation and may create inequalities in the playing field both amongst EU market operators and between EU and foreign market operators. ADVISES the Commission to consider a possible adjustment of the product scope in order to address gaps and inconsistencies";
"URGES the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Member States to intensify and coordinate the political dialogue with countries exporting large volumes of timber and related products to the EU, but which are not engaged in a VPA, with a view to combatting illegal logging and associated trade and promoting legally and sustainably produced timber."
Copy of the Coucil Conclusions is available here: