Comparative analysis of the EU criminal law for environmental protection and the Albanian one

Author:Iris Petrela
Position:University of Tirana
ISSN 2410-3918
Acces online at
IIPCCL Publishing, Tirana-Albania
Academic Journal of Business, Administration, Law and Social Sciences Vol. 2 No. 1
March 2016
Comparative analysis of the EU criminal law for environmental protection and
the Albanian one
Iris Petrela
University of Tirana
This paper consists of two main parts where the first one presents the path how the
environmental issue was included in the primary legislation of the European Union (EU),
starting this theoretical panorama from the first founding treaty – Treaty of Rome, in 1957. It
shows that with the passing of years the environmental protection has become one of the most
important fields of action of the European Community supported by the primary and secondary
legislation of the EU and its several bodies with competencies in this field.
The second part of the paper starts with the commitments on the environmental protection
that the Albanian state has made upon signature and entrance into force of the Stabilisation
and Association Agreement with the EU. In addition, this article presents a summary of the
legislative activity in Albania regarding environmental protection in the last two decades
with special focus on the time period after the approval of the current Constitution of 1998,
which is the basis and origin of every legislative initiative. Furthermore, there are presented
the key features of the Albanian environmental legislation, as well as the protection mechanism
from the criminal legislation point of view. The presentation of the European and national
reality with special focus on environmental protection serves to a comparative purpose between
the two models. It also serves to draw conclusions and propose suggestions on how the Albanian
legislation should be developed and improved in order to be in line with that of the European
Union and effective in practice to serve the ultimate goal of environmental protection and
prevention from further environmental degradation.
Keywords: EU directive, environmental protection, judicial process, damage reparation,
environmental criminal offence.
The basis for establishing the European Community has been the development and
strengthening of economy within the European continent. The Treaty of Rome that
established the European Economic Community clearly articulated such objective
(Treaty of Rome, 1957, Articles 2 and 3). It is obvious and clear to understand that in
the Treaty of Rome, the word ‘environment’ was not present at all. As mentioned
above the main objective of the newly established community was of an economic
nature. In addition, at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century, the
potential environmental impact of economic policies approved and implemented was
not distinguished or perceived. It was only in the early 1970s that the need for some
form of policy on the environmental protection was affirmed (Bell, S., McGillivray,
D., (2008), 184). A reason for this change served the acceptance of the interrelation
between economic growth and environmental degradation. In October 1972, the heads
of states of the today’s European Community announced that the economic expansion

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