An EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare
Question for oral answer O-000001/2022
to the Commission
Niels Fuglsang (S&D), Sylwia Spurek (Verts/ALE), Petras Auštrevičius (Renew), Manuel Bompard (The Left), Michal Wiezik (Renew), Emmanouil Fragkos (ECR), Anja Hazekamp (The Left), Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR), Emma Wiesner (Renew), Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE), Maria Noichl (S&D), Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE), Eleonora Evi (Verts/ALE), Jerzy Buzek (PPE), Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE), Leszek Miller (S&D), Manon Aubry (The Left), Pascal Arimont (PPE), Pascal Durand (Renew), Caroline Roose (Verts/ALE), Martin Hojsík (Renew), Tanja Fajon (S&D), Marina Kaljurand (S&D), Biljana Borzan (S&D), Saskia Bricmont (Verts/ALE), Magdalena Adamowicz (PPE), Isabella Adinolfi (PPE), Alviina Alametsä (Verts/ALE), François Alfonsi (Verts/ALE), Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou (PPE), Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE), Aurélia Beigneux (ID), Lars Patrick Berg (ECR), Benoît Biteau (Verts/ALE), Malin Björk (The Left), Marc Botenga (The Left), Geert Bourgeois (ECR), Milan Brglez (S&D), Annika Bruna (ID), Martin Buschmann (NI), Damien Carême (Verts/ALE), Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (NI), David Cormand (Verts/ALE), Rosa D'Amato (Verts/ALE), Tomasz Frankowski (PPE), Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D), Catherine Griset (ID), Claude Gruffat (Verts/ALE), Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), José Gusmão (The Left), Andrzej Halicki (PPE), Pär Holmgren (Verts/ALE), Virginie Joron (ID), Assita Kanko (ECR), Manolis Kefalogiannis (PPE), Łukasz Kohut (S&D), Dietmar Köster (S&D), Petros Kokkalis (The Left), Athanasios Konstantinou (NI), Stelios Kouloglou (The Left), Elena Kountoura (The Left), Stelios Kympouropoulos (PPE), Georgios Kyrtsos (PPE), Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE), Marisa Matias (The Left), Sara Matthieu (Verts/ALE), Vangelis Meimarakis (PPE), Niklas Nienaß (Verts/ALE), Younous Omarjee (The Left), Grace O'Sullivan (Verts/ALE), Demetris Papadakis (S&D), Dimitrios Papadimoulis (The Left), Piernicola Pedicini (Verts/ALE), Kira Marie Peter-Hansen (Verts/ALE), Jiří Pospíšil (PPE), Diana Riba i Giner (Verts/ALE), Mounir Satouri (Verts/ALE), Andreas Schieder (S&D), Michal Šimečka (Renew), Ivan Štefanec (PPE), Jessica Stegrud (ECR), Róża Thun und Hohenstein (Renew), Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE), Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE), Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D), Marianne Vind (S&D), Petar Vitanov (S&D), Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi (PPE), Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE), Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR), Salima Yenbou (Verts/ALE), Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Renew), Sarah Wiener (Verts/ALE), Sabrina Pignedoli (NI), Tiziana Beghin (NI), Dragoş Tudorache (Renew), Laura Ferrara (NI), Nikolaj Villumsen (The Left), Michael Bloss (Verts/ALE), Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE), Jakop G. Dalunde (Verts/ALE), Christel Schaldemose (S&D), Morten Løkkegaard (Renew), Maria Spyraki (PPE), Günther Sidl (S&D), Jytte Guteland (S&D), Mohammed Chahim (S&D), Thijs Reuten (S&D), Fulvio Martusciello (PPE), Vera Tax (S&D), Elisabetta Gualmini (S&D), Alfred Sant (S&D), Josianne Cutajar (S&D), Brando Benifei (S&D), David Casa (PPE), Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), Ivars Ijabs (Renew)
Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union recognises animals as sentient beings. As responses to Eurobarometer surveys have shown, European citizens care about animals, and they would like to see their welfare improved through clear legislation, effective policies and the commitment of adequate resources.
EU legislation on animal welfare has been developed since 1974, but the approach of the EU institutions has been inconsistent, which has contributed to the problem of poor enforcement on various fronts.
The EU commissioner responsible for animal welfare should gain more influence and powers within the EU institutions on this topic, whose importance has been clearly acknowledged by this Commission.
Over 145 000 EU citizens and more than 155 MEPs from all political groups have already joined the #EUforAnimals campaign to demand that animal welfare be given greater importance by making responsibility for it explicit in the name of the relevant Commission directorate-general and the job title of the competent commissioner.
As such, the commissioner would be given the responsibility for ‘Health, Food Safety and Animal Welfare’, which would greatly support both the legislative progress and proper enforcement.
This would be a significant political decision leading to more accountability for animal welfare in the EU institutions and hence increase the consistency, effectiveness and impact of policymaking in this field.
One of the immediate effects of the proposal would be the establishment of a dedicated directorate on animal welfare within the Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), thus adequately recognising its particular relevance.
Is the Commission planning to respond positively to this proposal? If so, what procedures have been initiated in order to implement it?