Globally, Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are considered to be one of the major threats to native biodiversity, with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) citing their impacts as ?immense, insidious, and usually irreversible?. It is estimated that 11% of the c. 12,000 alien species in Europe are invasive, causing environmental, economic and social damage; and it is reasonable to expect that the rate of biological invasions into Europe will increase in the coming years. In order to assess the current position regarding IAS in Europe and to determine the issues that were deemed to be most important or critical regarding these damaging species, the international Freshwater Invasives - Networking for Strategy (FINS) conference was convened in Ireland in April 2013. Delegates from throughout Europe and invited speakers from around the world were brought together for the conference. These comprised academics, applied scientists, policy makers, politicians, practitioners and representative stakeholder groups. A horizon scanning and issue prioritization approach was used by in excess of 100 expert delegates in a workshop setting to elucidate the Top 20 IAS issues in Europe. These issues do not focus solely on freshwater habitats and taxa but relate also to marine and terrestrial situations. The Top 20 issues that resulted represent a tool for IAS management and should also be used to support policy makers as they prepare European IAS legislation.
- EU legislation, biosecurity, early warning, economic analysis, horizon scanning, knowledge exchange, rapid response, risk assessment, networking