The Next Europen Parliament will be Crucial for Hunters: Use Your Vote

As the European elections approach, the future of hunting and conservation in Europe stands at a critical point. The next parliamentary term will be decisive for hunting and conservation, with several key issues set to dominate the agenda.

Regulations and Legislation. Over eighty percent of the rules affecting hunters today come from Brussels. These can include what, where, when, and how we hunt. They also affect land use and biodiversity, invasive alien species, wildlife disease control, firearms and ammunition regulations, and much more.

Large Carnivore Management. The rapid expansion of large carnivores, particularly wolves, has caused conflicts across Europe. The European Parliament has already adopted a resolution calling for better management of these populations to reduce conflicts. This includes potentially down-listing wolves under the Bern Convention, a topic that will likely demand significant attention from stakeholders in the next term.

Conservation Action. The next Parliament will play a crucial role in shaping the Common Agricultural Policy post-2027, which has a major impact on the status of small game populations in Europe. Decisions here will impact the design of farm policy and funding for biodiversity measures, which are vital for the conservation of various species and habitats important to hunters.

The Importance of Voting. Despite the significant influence of EU decisions, voter turnout in European elections has traditionally been low. In 2019, the average turnout was around 50%, with much lower participation in some countries. Hunters must engage in the electoral process to ensure their interests are represented. Low turnout allows a smaller, more motivated group to shape policies that could profoundly impact hunting.

The ”Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside” Intergroup. Since 1985, many Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have grouped in the “Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside” Intergroup. Membership in this group is a strong commitment to active discussions with colleagues, the European Commission, experts, and rural stakeholders, including hunters.

During the 2019-2024 term, approximately 120 MEPs joined this Intergroup (see full member list here). This group has been instrumental in addressing issues such as the management of large carnivores and the regulation of hunting practices.

Rallying support among newly elected MEPs to re-establish the Intergroup following the upcoming elections will be crucial to help debate key issues for hunting and conservation in the European Parliament.

To find out more information on how to vote in your country, visit this EU website.

Promote and share the FACE Election Manifesto with your national candidates and ask them to sign up to its principles, demonstrating their commitment to hunting and conservation in Europe, available here and translated in multiple languages.

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