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Why Hunters and Trappers Must Vote in the European Elections



The European elections, scheduled for 6-9 June, will be decisive for the future of hunting, trapping and conservation in Europe.  Currently, eighty percent of the national rules and regulations affecting hunting, trapping and conservation today come from Brussels.

  

The next European Parliament will have the opportunity to advance policies that benefit biodiversity and rural communities.  These policies can include reversing biodiversity loss, addressing species declines, and restoring habitats.  Decisions in Brussels will also affect the bird species, which can be hunted and trapped.  Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) may also be required to make decisions on what types of firearms and ammunition can be used in the future.


From 6-9 June (in Malta on the 8 of June), European citizens will elect 720 MEPs for the coming 5-year political term.  This is an increase from today’s 705 MEPs.  The population size of a Member State determines the number of MEPs.  No Member State can have more than 96 members or fewer than 6.  Currently, Germany has 96 MEPs, while Cyprus, Luxembourg, and Malta each have six members.


This election will extend its influence beyond the European Parliament.  It will also affect the election of the President of the European Commission, as well as the hearings and evaluations of the EU Commissioners.


FACE recommends that European hunters and trappers go to the polls fully aware of what your elected politicians and political groups have done during their time in Brussels.  What major decisions have been made which affect hunters and trappers?  Who are the candidates in the upcoming election, and where do they stand on hunting, trapping and conservation issues?  What decisions affecting hunting, trapping and conservation are expected from the next Parliament?


The Importance for Hunters and Trappers to Engage and Vote…..


Despite the enormous influence that EU decisions have on our everyday lives, the interest and participation in EU elections are relatively low compared to national elections.  The average voting turnout in the Union was around 50% in the last election (2019) - ranging from 88% in Belgium (where voting is mandatory) to a record-low 22% turnout in Slovakia.  Low voter turnout means that citizens who do vote have a significant chance of shaping the future direction of EU policy.


Conversely, groups and interests that do not make their voices heard during the campaigns or do not show up at the polling stations risk having their lives dictated by opposing interests.  In other words, the hunting and trapping community must engage in the coming elections in significant numbers.


As the saying goes, if you do not vote, you cannot complain afterwards!


The Federation for Hunting and Conservation – Malta (FKNK), a 36-year FACE Member, has already promoted and shared the FACE Election Manifesto with Malta’s candidates and asked them to sign up to its principles, demonstrating their commitment to hunting, trapping and conservation in Europe.


So far the Manifesto has been signed by Alex Agius Saliba; Clint Azzopardi Flores; Daniel Attard; Steve Ellul; Maria Sara Vella Gafa and Thomas Bajada; all from the local Labour Party (PL) at present in Government; Peter Agius; from the local Nationalist Party (PN) at present in Opposition; and Edwin Vassallo; an independent candidate; while Arnold Cassola, another independent candidate, and as expected has declared that he will no sign the FACE Manifesto.


Lino Farrugia

FACE Mediterranean Region Vice-President

FKNK CEO


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