Season's Greetings!


Suggested Text for a Last Ditch Letter/Mail to MEPs who are still on the list


Dear N.N.,

I am writing to you urgently to acquaint you with a few facts before you commit yourself irrevocably to supporting the Ebner Declaration on Monday.

(A few words on personal commitment?)and (Example – we have the better hunters! -for Germany following text). These German Associations, as also the WWF in Germany, have good working relationships with the hunting bodies; and the latter have for the most part similar social structures and share the same rural traditions as in UK. There are of course differences of opinion, the goose hunts which traditionally takes place at this time of year is a bone of contention and is the main reason why some CDU/CSU MEPs have signed up for Ebner.

That said there is a world of difference between the hunting traditions in Northern Europe and the ‘romantic’ South. In France and Spain the masses of hunters (and of course voters) who want the hunting season extended into the main bird migratory period are not interested in the traditional and ‘sportsmanlike’ form of hunting. For them the migratory period is the great opportunity to escape from the ‘dark satanic mills’ into the countryside and let loose literally tons of lead pollution, day and night (the latter based on the calls of the over flying birds) into the masses of birds heading to and from their breeding grounds. Far from the stirrup cup outside the manor house I can assure you. In Malta, now on the threshold to the European Union, the hunters stand knee deep in blood and feathers and have little or no interest in either a trophy or meat for the pot. Killing is what counts. They even take to sea in motor boats and ‘follow-up’ the large raptors with semi-automatic weapons. I cannot believe that we wish this degree of ‘subsidiarity’ in Europe when we are discussing a common and fragile European natural heritage and resource. In plain words, a small minority want to satisfy their annual blood lust by shooting down thousands of OUR birds, many of them on the Red List or protected by international conventions.

This is not my idea of democracy and, as an elected representative of a thinking element of the population, not yours either I am sure.

For good measure I should also point out that hunting in France and Italy is not (as in Britain) a properly regulated industry, but is more closely akin to legalised poaching. Hunters, by and large, do not have to ask permission of landowners before entering land to hunt, it is their legal right, like rambling is in Sweden. So also, landowners often gain no financial benefit from hunting. An acquaintance of one of my colleagues a landowner in the SW of France. He relates that hunters enter his land freely, without permission, and he knows (from hints given to him) that if he makes any attempt to deny them access (or even just make access difficult, e.g. putting up fences), his young trees will be torched. He gets no financial recompense from the hunters, or elsewhere for the damage they cause to gates, fences, hedges and crops.

I am sure that, having read the above, you will be better informed of what far reaching consequences the Ebner initiative can have not only for the individual countries, but also the natural heritage of Europe as a whole and the United Kingdom in particular. I cannot believe that this is surely either your or your Party’s intention.

Yours etc.,



Suggested Text for a Letter from Non-European Citizens to European Party Political Groups (now below)

The wording of the declaration is given below. It will considerably weaken or negate the present, hard fought for Bird Protection Guidelines which read:

Art. 7, Para. 4 “…They (the Member States) should take particular care that the species listed and covered by hunting ordinances or laws are not hunted during the breeding and rearing period. As far as migratory birds are concerned, those species which are governed by individual national ordinances should not be hunted during the breeding and rearing period or during their Spring migration to the nesting areas…”


Dear Sir or Madam,

As a non-European I am nevertheless aware of the Declaration by Mr. Ebner – a Member of the European Parliament. Adverse changes to nature and the environment do not recognise regional or national boundaries. All world citizens have therefore a duty to protest against or comment on legal or parliamentary action which will directly or indirectly affect present and future generations.

PLEASE ON NO ACCOUNT SIGN THE DECLARATION being circulated by theITALIAN MEP MR EBNER – No: 12/2000 - on the treatment of European Avifauna. (Last signing date 18.12.2000)

We understand that you have been approached urgently to support a proposal by Mr. EBNER, Italian MEP, to change the Bird Guidelines 79/409/CEE on the protection of wild birds and the application of the subsidiarity principle which has the aim of changing the manner in which migrating birds in Europe are protected.

This proposal aims, inter alia, at permitting the hunting of wild birds in France during the height of the migration season and thereby contradicts the responsible and sustained preservation of this common planetary natural resource.

Among the consequences will be the legalisation in France of uncontrolled hunting and slaughter of Turtle Doves in the Gironde, the hunting of Wood Pigeons in March and April and all huntable waterfowl in July. Groups in other European countries will almost certainly try to use this initiative to weaken their own nature protection laws.

At the beginning of this year, 2000, more than 2 million European citizens, including 1,100,000 Frenchwomen and Frenchmen, signed a petition, which was handed over to Mme. Nicole FONTAINE, in favour of better compliance with the Bird Protection Guidelines 79/409/CEE and better protection of migrating birds in France.

I therefore urge you - ON NO ACCOUNT – to sign Mr. Ebner’s declaration which would make a mockery the democratic rights of all those who successfully campaigned for ‘La Petition’. As Parliamentary Group I ask you to positively influence your members by informing them of the contents of this appeal

I am hopeful that you, as I, am interested in protecting our common natural planetary inheritance and remain,

Yours sincerely,



Mail Addresses of the Main Political Groupings in The European Parliament

European Peoples Party Group
Conservative/Christian Democrats – Priority *****

EDD - Europe of Democraties and Diversities
Independents – Priority *****

ELD, European Liberals
Liberal – Priority ****

Secretary General, Union for Europe of the Nations Group
Conservative – Priority ****

Social Democrat Party Group Chairman
Social Democrats – Priority ***

President, Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left
Left – Priority ***

Federation of European Green Parties
Green – Priority *



Declaration on the management of wild birds in Europe

The European Parliament.

A. whereas the European Union presents important wildlife diversity and socio-cultural richness, and the distribution, density and conservation status of its species vary according to local bio-geographical and socio-economic conditions,

B. aware that the Member States of the European Union present different biogeographical characteristics and that migrations occur differently in each state and involve many non-EU countries,

C. convinced that any taking of birds must be compatible with the sustainable use principle,

D. noting that the implementation problems of Directive 79/409/EEC result from its Article 7(4), whose insufficiently scientifically based interpretation by the European Court of Justice creates legal uncertainty without improving the conservation status of the species concerned,

1. Asks the European Commission:

to apply the subsidiarity principle to sustainable management of migratory birds, leaving Member States to set their own dates for hunting seasons according to the most recent scientific data available;

to submit a new proposal for a directive amending Article 7(4) of Directive 79/409/EEC, contributing to the conservation of wild birds and respecting different hunting practices;

2. Instructs its President to forward this declaration to the Commission.



Das Europäische Parlament,

A. In Anbetracht dessen, dass die Europäische Union eine faunistische Vielfalt und einen wichtigen sozio-kulturellen Reichtum aufweist und dass die Verbreitung der Arten, ihrer Häufigkeit und der Stand des Artenschutzes infolge der biogeographischen und lokalen sozio-oekonomischen Bedingungen unterschiedlich sind,

B. im Bewusstsein, dass die Mitgliedsstaaten der Europaeischen Union verschiedene biogeografische Charakteristika aufweisen und dass die Zugbewegungen in jedem Staat unterschiedlich ablaufen und zahlreiche Nicht-EU-Laender betreffen, in der Überzeugung, dass jede Entnahme von Vögeln gemäss dem Prinzip der dauerhaften Nutzung betrieben werden muss,

C. mit der Feststellung, dass die Schwierigkeiten der Anwendung der Vogelschutzrichtlinie, die vom Artikel 7, Absatz 4 herrühren, dessen Interpretation durch den Gerichtshof vom wissenschaftlichen Standpunkt ungenügend begründet ist, eine juristische Unsicherheit schaffen ohne dazu beizutragen, den Stand der Erhaltung der betroffenen Vogelarten zu verbessern ,

1. fordert die Europäische Kommission auf,

- das Subsidiaritätsprinzip für eine dauerhafte Nutzung der Zugvögel anzuwenden, indem es die Mitgliedsstaaten selbst ihre Jagdzeiten auf der Basis der neuesten Verfügbaren wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen festlegen lässt,

- einen neuen Vorschlag zur Richtlinie einzubringen, der den Artikel 7, Absatz 4 der Direktive Nr. 79/409/CEE modifiziert in einem Sinne, der der Erhaltung der Wildvögel dient und die verschiedenen Jagdpraktiken berücksichtigt.

2. beauftragt seinen Präsidenten, die vorliegende Deklaration der Kommission zu übergeben.



Le Parlement Européen,

A. considérant que l'Union Européenne offre une diversité faunistique et une richesse socio-culturelle importantes et que la distribution, la densité et la statut de conservation des espèces y varient en fonction des conditions bio-géographiques et socio-économiques locales;

B. conscient que les Etats membres de l'Union Européenne présentent des caractéristiques bio-géographiques différentes et que les migrations se déroulent différemment dans chaque Etat et concernent de nombreux pays non-UE; convaincu que tout prélèvement d'oiseaux doit être effectué conformément au principe de l'utilisation durable;

C. constatant que les difficultés d'application de la directive 79/409/CEE émanent de son Article 7, paragraphe 4, dont l'interprétation insuffisamment fondée d'un point de vue scientifique par la Cour de Justice crée une incertitude juridique sans contribuer à améliorer l'état de conservation des espèces concernées;

1. demande à la Commission Européenne de: - appliquer le principe de subsidiarité à une gestion durable des oiseaux migrateurs, en laissant les Etats membres fixer eux-mêmes leurs saisons de chasse sur la base des plus récentes données scientifiques disponibles;

- présenter une nouvelle proposition de directive modifiant l'article 7, paragraphe 4, de la directive n° 79/409/CEE dans un sens utile à la conservation des oiseaux sauvages et au respect des différentes pratiques cynégétiques.

2. charge sa Présidente de transmettre la présente déclaration à la Commission."