Parliamentary questions
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20 December 2018

Question for oral answer O-000142/2018

to the Commission

Rule 128

Czesław Adam Siekierski

on behalf of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

  Subject:  Large predators

The EU Nature Directives (Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Birds Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds) establish the legal framework required to protect some 1 500 animal and plant species and some 200 rare habitat types in the EU. However, since the adoption of the Habitats Directive in 1992, certain species designated as requiring special protection have reached a good level of conservation. A case in point are wolves, whose European-wide population has been re-established and has even exceeded the thresholds of certain regions. As a result, a conflict of coexistence has evolved between domestic animals and large carnivores, which threatens in particular the existence of those animals kept in pasture and open grazing systems in mountainous and sparsely populated regions. In more densely inhabited rural areas, the presence of large carnivores can have negative impacts on the socio-economic development of local communities and on traditional agriculture and sustainable tourism.

1.  Can the Commission explain how regularly the Habitats Directive and its annexes are monitored and evaluated to ensure they reflect current developments and whether updates are subsequently proposed to adapt the protection status of species as soon as the desired conservation status is reached?

2.  Given that, in recent years, certain species have developed in Europe, e.g. wolves, bears and lynxes, is the Commission considering redefining the terminology that describes a population of a specific species?

3.  What view does it take on the need to actively involve regional and local actors and how will it provide support so that concrete actions can be taken in particular regions to effectively resolve conflicts of coexistence between local populations and large predators?

4.  Can it explain how, together with the Member States, it plans to take concrete measures to address issues in an effort to safeguard the sustainable development of rural areas and local agriculture, in particular with regard to traditional agricultural practices such as pastoralism?

5.  Given that it intends to update and further develop guidance documents, as requested in Parliament’s resolution of 15 November 2017 on an Action Plan for nature, people and the economy and in view of the need for flexibility, could it please state what stage it has reached in drafting said guidelines and to what extent it will involve and consult Parliament before adopting them?

Tabled: 20.12.2018

Forwarded: 24.12.2018

Deadline for reply: 31.12.2018

Last updated: 8 January 2019Legal notice