October 2015, Volume 13-5

Delegates of 30 European countries representing seven million hunters elected former Member of the European Parliament and businessman Dr Michl Ebner as their president. The election took place in Brussels at the annual FACE General Assembly renewing the statutory bodies for the next three year term.

Baron Gilbert de Turckheim, who was at the helm of FACE for twelve years, had announced his desire not to present his candidature, welcoming a renewal of the leadership. The General Assembly recognised Baron de Turckheim’s longstanding engagement in representing European hunters at the highest institutional levels by electing him Honorary President.

Vol13_6_art14Michl Ebner (1952), a German native speaker of Italian nationality, belongs to the Austrian minority of Northern Italy where he lives, and currently holding the office of President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture in South Tyrol with the mission of building relations between economic areas from Central and Northern European countries towards Southern Europe and vice versa.

His political career began in a centre party of Northern Italy where he was elected four times as Member of the Italian Parliament (1979 – 1994). He also served three legislatures in the European Parliament (1994 – 2009). Prior to his institutional activity he worked as a journalist. In parallel to his political career he held responsibilities in a business enterprise, which he currently runs.

Dr Ebner started his cooperation with FACE in 1999 when he was elected President of the Intergroup Sustainable Hunting, Biodiversity and Countryside of the European Parliament, a post which he held until 2009.

During his address Dr Ebner stated: “The defense and promotion of hunting in Europe today is exceedingly exercised by actively engaging the Institutions of the European Union in Brussels. The interests and legitimate requests of seven million hunters need to receive the attention that they are owed and the appropriate channels need to be established to let our messages get through. In the same way I see my primary goal in life in bridging cultures and fostering cooperation, I will seek to represent hunting as a vital part of a multi-colored flowering landscape, composed of different traditions and approaches to environmental conservation, so that Europe does not become the sterile container of ideological notions that deprive citizens from their right to fully and responsibly experience nature”. An active hunter since 1970, as well as a member of the arbitral panel of his local hunting association and a member of a German-Austrian Foundation close to hunting, he was the first honorary member of FACE since 2009. Alpine hunting is his great passion.

The newly elected FACE Board is composed of eleven vice-presidents: Richard Ali representing the United Kingdom, Volker Böhning representing Germany, Gian Luca Dall’Olio representing Italy, Alain Durand representing France, Claus Lind Christensen (Denmark) for the Nordic region, Linda Dombrowska (Latvia) for the Baltic region, Laurens Hoedemaker (The Netherlands) for the Atlantic region, Attila Kelemen (Romania) for the South-East region, Nicholas Papadodimas (Greece) for the Mediterranean region, Srečko Žerjav (Slovenia) for the Central region. Benoît Chevron is the Treasurer General. Secretary General Filippo Segato was confirmed in his functions.

Former FACE President and founder Giovanni Bana (Italy) was elected Honorary President. For their life long-service in FACE the General Assembly also decided to welcome John Swift (United Kingdom), Jochen Borchert (Germany) and Martin Høisgaard (Denmark) as Honorary Members.

FACE also welcomed the Oficina Nacional de la Caza, Spain’s most representative hunters’ association, as a new full member, the US based Conservation Force, a pro-sustainable use advocacy group, as associate member and OMPO (European institute for the management of wild birds and their habitats) as research partner.