..... of a reply by an MEP to a Proact member's letter:
From Caroline Jackson MEP (UK)
Dear Mr and Mrs Pay,
Thank you for your e mail about bird hunting in Malta. I have no record
of receiving your earlier email on my UK address and I am afraid that
I don't know what happened to it. But I do apologise for the long delay.
However, your enquiry is now very timely because I have just come from chairing a meeting of
the Environment Committee where we questioned representatives of the European Commission about Malta.
Malta will not become a member of
the EU until 1 May 2004, and EU law does not apply until then. Once it does apply, then the only derogation,
or temporary exemption, from the EU Birds directive that has been granted concerns the trapping of 7 species of finch, which
is allowed until 31 December 2008. There are no such derogations in the case of hunting. However the
Commission did point out that the birds directive does allow the hunting, in certain circumstances, of certain wild bird species.
Once Malta enters the EU it will be open
to those concerned about illegal hunting of birds there to make formal complaints to the European Commission plus full details
of time, place, species etc. The Commission will be bound to investigate. Action by the Commission can lead to
the case being taken to the European Court of Justice, and then to the payment of substantial fines, if continuing non-compliance
When I visited Malta last year I met
several people who were obviously very aware of the birds directive and of the potential that it offers for curbing the tremendous
amount of hunting that goes on in Malta.
My advice to such people ( and to you) is to copy the evidence sent to the Commission to the
MEPs on the Parliament's Environment Committee. Our role is to see that the Commission does act swiftly in such cases. Only
the Commission can bring cases against states before the Court of Justice, in its role as "guardian of the treaty". But MEPs
can keep them up to the mark - as we are already doing.
Caroline Jackson MEP