Committee on Petitions
NOTICE TO MEMBERS
2009 - 2014
Subject: Petition 1333/2011 by Fulvio Genero, (Italian), on the application in Italy of community rules on hunting
1. Summary of petition
The Petition claims, briefly, that in Italy there is little respect for European environmental regulations governing hunting, thereby allowing hunters too many exceptions.
In particular it highlights the slaughter of passerines on the Alpine passes.
Declared admissible on 26 March 2012. Information requested from Commission under Rule
, received on 27 June 2012
The European Commission is pursuing several cases as regards the correct transposition and application in Italy of the Birds Directive (Directive 79/409/EEC, codified as Directive
, concerning : the transposition in Italy of the Birds Directive as well as the hunting derogations in some regions; the hunting derogations in Veneto, and the hunting derogations in Liguria.
OJ L20, 26.1.2010.
United in diversity
In all these cases, the EU Court of Justice condemned Italy (ruling of 15/7/2010 in case C-
573/08; ruling of 11/11/2010 in case C-164/09; ruling of 15/5/2008 in case C-503/06, in particular because the hunting derogations granted in some Italian regions do not comply with all the conditions set out in Article 9 of the Birds Directive.
The European Commission has been following closely the situation in order to ensure the full execution of the rulings. In particular, in November 2011 the Commission sent Italy letters of formal notice under Article 260 TFEU about each of the above cases.
The Commission will keep monitoring the situation. The next step will depend on the measures taken by the Italian authorities to ensure full execution of the rulings with regard to the correct transposition in Italy of the Birds Directive and the correct application of Article 9 of the directive.
4. Commission reply (REV) , received on 28 August 2013.
The Commission keeps monitoring the situation concerning the transposition and application in Italy of the Birds Directive
, so as to guarantee that the Italian authorities, at both central and regional level, fully execute the EU Court rulings.
The Commission will continue to closely follow the situation. The next step in the infringement procedures will depend on the measures taken by the Italian authorities to ensure full execution of the rulings. In particular, the Commission shall check that the measures adopted by the Italian authorities provide sufficient guarantees that the Italian government can act timely and effectively if regions issue hunting derogations in breach of
Article 9 of the Birds Directive.
5. Commission reply (II) , received on 28 February 2014.
On 10/12/2013 the European Commission closed the three infringement procedures on hunting derogations in Italy: procedure 2006/2131, concerning the transposition in Italy of the
Birds Directive as well as hunting derogations in some regions, including Marche and
Lombardy; procedure 2004/4926, concerning derogations in Veneto; and procedure
2011/2205, concerning derogations in Liguria.
The main issues raised in the letters of formal notice that the Commission sent to Italy in
November 2011 within each of the above infringement procedures were the following:
- The system established to enable the Italian government to ensure that the regions do not adopt illegal derogations was essentially ineffective.
- Some Italian regions had granted hunting derogations, almost on an annual basis, in breach of Article 9 of the Birds Directive, even after several judgments of the Court of
O J L 103 , 25/04/1979 P. 1 - 18.
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Justice of the EU have declared that such derogations are illegal.
In response to the first issue, the Italian Parliament adopted in August 2013 a European Law, which modified Italian Law 157/1992 by reinforcing the system enabling the Italian government to ensure that the regions do not adopt illegal derogations.
Regarding the second issue, based on the information available since the above letters of formal notice were sent in November 2011, it does not appear that Italian regions have adopted derogations in breach of Article 9(1)(c) of the Birds Directive (recreational derogations). As regards derogations adopted by the Italian regions under Article 9(1)(a) of the Birds Directive (derogations to protect agriculture), the available information shows that they were substantially in line with the Directive, even though the derogations adopted by the
Marche region in 2012 and 2013 were not totally compliant because, contrary to the recommendations issued by the Italian Institute of Environmental Protection (ISPRA), this region did not foresee that the derogations were allowed only where non-lethal deterrent systems to protect the crops were in place.
Nevertheless, since the modified Law 157/1992 has put in place a revised system which, if fully implemented, would address effectively such non-compliant derogations, on 10/12/2013 the Commission closed the above infringement procedures.
The Commission wrote to the Italian government drawing its attention to the need to apply the control system foreseen by the Law 157/1992 in order to address effectively the derogations adopted at regional level and make sure that the EU norms referred to above are complied with.
The Commission has closed the infringement procedures against Italy after ensuring that the
Italian authorities had correctly transposed the Birds Directive, including as interpreted by the
Court of Justice of the EU, and put in place a system compliant with the Directive so that derogations which may be adopted at regional level do not go beyond the limitations set by the EU law.
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