News from the EU: Álvaro Amaro (Portugal, EPP) was elected President of the "Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside" Intergroup. The members of the Intergroup also agreed on the Vice-Presidents, that are Simone Schmiedtbauer (Austria, EPP), Alex Agius Saliba (Malta, S&D), Elsi Katainen (Finland, Renew Europe), Marco Dreosto (Italy, ID), Andżelika Możdżanowska (Poland, ECR), Carmen Avram (Romania, S&D), Jérémy Decerle (France, Renew Europe), Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (Spain, EPP) and Annie Schreijer-Pierik (Netherlands, EPP). As explained in a press release, “This meeting was an important first step to lay the basis for the Intergroup’s work in this parliamentary term. The Intergroup will be instrumental in bringing together the perspectives of key rural actors in shaping major policy discussions on the next EU Biodiversity Strategy, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Green Deal.”
"I accepted to lead the team that worked to re-establish the Intergroup, which consists of 10 members in total, from 10 different Member States and 5 different political groups comprising of 5 men and 5 women. This provides a wide geographical and ideological scope as well as a perfect gender balance!" stated President Amaro. Who added: "With more than 130 supporting MEPs from all major political groups, the Intergroup is an active stakeholder platform within the European Parliament, enabling open discussions between decision-makers, the European Commission and experts, aiming to affirm the crucial role of rural actors and the socio-economic importance of hunting and countryside activities".
Intergroups are made up of MEPs from different political groups and different parliamentary committees and their function is to hold informal discussions on particular issues and to promote exchanges between MEPs and civil society.
It's worth recalling that in 2016 the intergroup that should represent millions of European hunters and shooters also provided a platform to discuss the revision of the notorious EU Firearms Directive, where concerns about the Commission's proposals were expressed by EU legal firearms owners such as sport shooters, hunters, collectors and museums.