Growing population of wild geese

14 November 2013


Britta Reimers (ALDE) 

1. Why are there different interpretations of the EU Birds Directive in the Member States, for example with regard to the different rules for hunting (hunting and closed seasons)?

2. With such different interpretations and rules made by each of the Member States, how will it be possible to develop potentially effective cross-border management?

3. Are there any EU-wide means to compensate farmers financially for the damage caused by geese feeding and defecating? If so, what are these means? If not, why not?

4. How does the EU intend to help the countries affected?

17 January 2014


Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission

The Commission have issued guidelines on hunting under Directive 2009/147/EC(1) (‘Birds Directive’) to assist Member States in applying its provisions, including in relation to hunting and closed seasons. Where it is aware of incorrect application of the directive the Commission will take the necessary action.

As the directive is addressed to the Member States it is for them to put in place all the necessary measures to comply with it on their territory. However, the Commission and international conventions and agreements encourage cooperation, including within the framework of international species management plans.

The management of goose populations in accordance with the directive is the responsibility of the Member States. However, the agri-environmental measures may be used for compensating income loss resulting from certain protection measure for wild geese. These measures have been applied by the Netherlands in the current programming period 2007-2013 for the Rural Development Program.

(1) OJ L 020, 26.1.2010.