Dear Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius
LETTER OF CONCERN
I am taking the liberty to contact you directly; I sure hope you can find a few minutes to read my concern about the situation in the Nordic countries regarding the wolf hunting situation.
My name is Ole Pedersen, I’m the chairman of “Ulvetid”, the sole Danish association that is working for the acceptance of the wolf in Denmark, and the wolf in Europe in general.
We are deeply concerned about the Swedish license hunting for wolves. Although I am aware that the commission has already initiated an infringement proceeding (INFR(2010)4200), concerning the policy of licensed hunting of wolves in order to ensure that the requirements applicable to derogations in accordance with Article 16 (1) of the Habitats Directive 1 (e) is complied with. The said infringement proceedings have not yet been concluded.
However, my concern is mainly that other EU-member states might copy the Swedish model, which unfortunately is already a reality as the Finish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Jari Leppä has announced license hunting for 20 wolves in southern part of Finland. The argumentation for the hunt is very much the same as the Swedish arguments.
The permit to for the license wolf hunting in Finland even contradicts several premises in the EU-Case 476/17 (The Tapiola Case)
We do understand that it is not an easy task for the commission to sue a member state for violating the Habitats directive. On the other hand, it seems like a long process time that an infringement case from 2010 is still open.
We believe that the Finish decision to allow for license hunting of 20 wolves is directly related to the Swedish practice.
We therefore urge you to have a look at this matter to prevent other member states to act like Sweden and Finland. The way in which Sweden and Finland seem to be interpreting Article 16 of the Habitats Directive leaves the Annex 4 species, including the wolf, without the real protection to which they are entitled.
In our point of view there is a risk that the Commission will lose its grip on the Member States’ creative interpretation of Article 16. The Commission should put an end to this practice.
Maglemosen 1 – 4070 Kr. Hyllinge – Denmark
Tlf.: + 45 60613739