Environmental crime has been a topic discussed in international fora for many years. In February 2007, the European Commission presented a proposal for a Directive on Environmental Crime. This is not the first legislative instrument in the area at the level of the European Union. But for reasons that go far beyond the environmental content of this proposal, its discussion in the Council, which was taken up in March 2007 under the German Presidency, will be most controversial and of particular interest not only to environmental lawyers.' The following article aims at providing some background on the fight against environmental crime at the international and European level by giving an overview over the content of the draft directive (I) with a focus on particularly controversial aspects (II) and finally looking at the institutional setting in which discussion of the proposal will take place in the Council and in the European Parliament (III).