Vilard Bytyqi, Fitore Morina, The International Standards on the Protection of the Environment through Criminal Law- Special Focus on the EU Directive on Environmental Crime. Polish. Journal of Environmenta Studies. (2023) 32(2) 1545-1554 (February 2023)

Protecting the environment from various exogenous factors that threaten its degradation has been part of the priorities of the governments of different states, initiatives that date back to the 1960s. This paper aims to address the problem of recognizing the importance of environmental protection within criminal law by sanctioning actions that degrade the environment. The study examined and analyzed the importance of international standards and EU directives for the protection of the environment and also for harmonization and standardization of the legal framework in the European area, including member states and aspiring countries in the EU. The paper has used the method of qualitative legal analysis to treat in the analytical sense the standards of many international instruments for environmental protection through criminal law and has also used the different literature and legislation. The results indicate that all states aspiring to EU membership should prioritize the environmental issue, because environmental protection is seen as an area of common interest among all EU countries. The study also recommends not overlooking the crucial importance of environmental protection alongside economic development. This study provides help to policymakers while designing and drafting their national legislation to understand the importance of EU standards and directives.