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Government Barometer 2014

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Summary of results

EU Government Barometer on Illegal logging and Trade - 2014
The EU Government Barometer is a WWF assessment of EU member states’ efforts to tackle illegal logging. This 2014 survey is our sixth edition of the barometer, and it assesses each country’s progress on the following issues:

  • EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) – the legal framework put in place to implement the EUTR
  • Actions taken and resources used to enforce the EUTR
  • Cooperation among government departments, and with other EU member states, in implementing laws to stop illegal trade of timber products (mainly the EUTR & FLEGT)
  • Implementation of the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Regulation, which encourages import of licensed timber from countries that have negotiated a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) with the EU
  • Governments’ contributions to voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs)
  • Awareness of the VPA process’s progress, and how they used this information
  • Green public procurement – what policies have been adopted, and how strong are they?
  • Proof of effectiveness/compliance with national policies on public procurement.

The 2014 barometer was carried out in all 28 EU member states - along with Switzerland - who decided to take part in the survey too. The maximum overall score that could be achieved by any country is 16.

The following graph displays the overall result achieved by each of the EU countries:

 



In 2014, the main overall conclusion is that 15 EU member states (represented in red on the graph) out of the 28 are failing to do enough to tackle the trade in illegal and unsustainable timber and wood products in the EU.

Of the remaining 13, some have improved their performance since 2012 and made good progress, but they all need to do more.

Eleven years after the adoption of the EU FLEGT Action Plan, and one year after the EUTR came into force, our conclusion is that EU member states are still not doing enough. That’s why none of the countries scores in the dark green section.

Among the weakest overall performers in 2014 (scoring 2 points or below) are Italy, Malta, Poland Slovakia Hungary and Spain. Hungary and Spain were the lowest scoring countries with 0 points. Hungary did not provide answers to some of the questions, and Spain declined to take part in the survey altogether. Lack of answers to specific questions was a common theme for some countries in 2014, which affected the overall results.

The UK has been a consistent high scorer again – only let down by its public procurement policy and reporting. Denmark is runner-up, having shown significant improvement since 2012. The UK and Denmark are the first countries to move out of the amber zone – but their score is still one step below dark green, as there are still issues that need to be addressed in both cases. Countries will only achieve a solid dark green once most issues are addressed and score 15-16 overall.

The most worrying gap in the 2014 barometer is the lack of proper legislation to implement the EUTR. One year after the EUTR coming into force, there are still nine countries – France, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Latvia, Slovakia and Spain – that haven’t made the necessary legislative changes to implement the EUTR.

Support for implementation of the voluntary partnership agreements (VPAs) is another serious shortcoming. Only three countries – the UK, Sweden and Finland – provide a high level of support to the European Commission (EC) and the producer countries that have embarked on VPAs. A further five countries provide only partial support, while the other 20 don’t support the VPA process at all. Some of them consider it a matter to be dealt with by the EC alone.

The implementation and reporting of green procurement policies is another neglected issue. There are 20 countries claiming to have a policy in place, but the survey found the implementation for all of them was insufficient. The other eight countries did not provide evidence of having a policy.