Between 23rd and 26th May 2019, citizens from across 27 EU Member States will have a chance to go to the polls to directly elect 705 Members of the European Parliament.
These MEPs will be charged with the responsibility of representing EU citizens’ interests for the next five years and shaping the future of EU policy and legislation. They will also play an important role in setting EU budgets and today international agreements, such as free trade agreements, cannot go ahead without Parliamentary consent.
What is more, the result of the elections will not only determine who becomes the next President of the European Commission, but also all Commissioners proposed by Member States will need to gain the Parliament’s approval before they can take office.
Your vote as an EU citizen really does count. And you can also make it count for animals.
Animal protection is neither left nor right
The protection of animals is one of those rare issues that is neither left nor right. It is a matter of ethics, moral values and compassion. Consequently, HSI/Europe has found support for its campaigns across the whole political spectrum and amongst MEPs of almost all nationalities.
In the European Parliament, one can almost always find animal allies, even in unexpected quarters where economics and industry interests traditionally triumph over ethics. We are therefore also hoping to find many champions for animal issues among the candidates for the 2019 elections!
Our election priorities
In the run up to the elections, HSI/Europe has identified six key campaign priorities for the 2019-2023 Parliamentary term.
These relate to the following issues: achieving a new EU Animal Welfare Strategy, pushing for a shift to plant-based diets, better fur labelling, closing the loopholes in EU wildlife trade regulations, extending EU rules on hunting trophies and achieving coexistence with large carnivores.
In short, we are calling on aspiring MEPs to sign pledges to:
- Push for the Commission to deliver a new EU Animal Welfare Strategy to ensure strong commitments to further progressing the welfare of animals in the Union.
- Call for legislation requiring the meaningful labelling of all products containing animal fur so consumers can make informed decisions.
- Push for the food sector to be included in the EU’s climate commitments to encourage a shift towards more climate-friendly plant-based diets.
- Urge the adoption of supplementary EU legislation to prohibit the trade in wild animals taken illegally in their country of origin.
- Advocate for import permits to be issued by EU Member States for ALL hunting trophies from Annex B species.
- Strongly stand by the EU’s position aiming to achieve coexistence between people and large carnivores and advocate for humane non-lethal management measures to reduce and resolve human-wildlife conflicts.
In the coming weeks, the HSI/Europe team will be meeting with current MEPs seeking re-election to encourage them to sign these pledges for the next Parliamentary term. Election candidates from across the Member States can also make these pledges online here.
With as many pledges signed as possible, we hope that we will be able to count on the support of these candidates, if (re)elected, in the five years to come!