On 22nd October 2014 the European Parliament and the Council adopted the EU Regulation N. 1143/2014.
As foreseen by Article 4 of the Regulation, on 13 July 2016 the European Commission adopted by means of an implementing act a list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern
At EU level, there are now 66 Invasive Alien Species of Union concern, 30 animal species and 36 plant species, to which EU measures apply. The animal species consist of 4 fish species, 2 insect and rhabditophora species, 2 amphibian and reptile species, 6 crustacean species, 5 bird species and 11 mammal species.
Many of these species are brought into Europe intentionally, to be kept as pets or used as products of the fur or food industry. These animals can escape and some are deliberately released into the wild. Roughly 10-15 % of alien species arriving in Europe eventually become invasive. Invasive alien species are one of the major causes of biodiversity loss.
The IAS Regulation introduces an EU-wide system to tackle this issue, with the Union List at its core. This is the list of priority species which require EU action to prevent, minimise or mitigate their adverse impacts.