Hunting Intergroup Backed By European Parliament
February 2015, Volume 13-1

The European Parliament’s Intergroup on Biodiversity, Hunting and Countryside – the so called “Hunting Intergroup” – has officially been re-established for the 2014-2019 legislature by the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents of the political groups. MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz (EPP, DE) played a key role in the reconstitution of the Intergroup.

“This vote sends a strong signal that MEPs consider hunters and the countryside an important voice to tune into, and that hunters and land managers are key stakeholders in the debate on biodiversity. This is indeed THE biodiversity intergroup” said MEP Renata Briano (S&D, IT).

Intergroups are formed by Members from any political group, with a view of holding informal exchanges of views on particular subjects and promoting contact between decision makers and civil society. Since the beginning of the new legislature MEPs actively sought to install the Hunting Intergroup, which exists since 1985 and is one of largest and most active, contributing to debates on wildlife conservation and management, firearms legislation, public and animal health policies and rural issues. The Hunting Intergroup was backed by over one hundred Members of the European Parliament from all political groups and is one of twenty nine such groups being approved out of over seventy proposals.

“The ample support received by the Hunting Intergroup demonstrates the relevance of the values advocated by hunters and rural actors. A modern society must never forget is own roots and hunting remains a profound part of our common European heritage. The re-establishment of this historical Intergroup is also owed to the Members of FACE, the national hunting organisations in the 28 EU Member States. They represent real people – millions of hunters who share a deep passion for nature and who on a daily basis do real change on the ground to achieve EU’s ambitious biodiversity targets. These are quite naturally the people decision makers should want to talk to,” said Gilbert de Turckheim, FACE President.

MEP Boris Zala (S&D, SK) said that “…the Hunting Intergroup … is an open window in the heart of EU decision making to some of the finest and richest traditions and cultures of our European continent, stretching from gastronomy and high quality game meat to poetry and music passed on over generations”.

One of the core values of the Hunting Intergroup is the respect for the subsidiarity principle, national and regional competences and that decisions should be taken as close to the EU citizens as possible. The “one-size-fits-all solution” rarely fits hunting. The re-establishment of the Hunting Intergroup for the 2014-2019 legislature represents the re-birth of an active and alert hunting watchdog and thought leader in the corridors of the European Parliament for the coming five years.

The Secretariat of the Hunting Intergroup is provided by the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE). The European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) is acting as its Co-Secretariat, bringing its expertise on countryside-related topics.

Source: FACE Press Release (Cecilia Luetgebrune, Public Affairs Officer, cecilia.luetgebrune@face.eu)