The Parliament's vote today brings us a lot closer to remedying this situation. The impacts of illegal logging go beyond environmental protection, with potentially negative effects on the rule of law and the livelihoods of local people who depend on forests for many products and services. Hence combating illegal logging will bring environmental and development benefits. With this, we are sending a signal to the world that the EU will no longer serve as a market for illegally harvested timber. I look forward to its formal adoption by Council after the summer break.
Moreover, the EU will continue to engage with countries wishing to strengthen forest governance, in particular through FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements. I am glad that the draft Regulation recognises the efforts of countries entering into such agreements with the EU."