What approach has the EU taken towards the proposals to introduce a 'positive list'?
In May 2022, activists fighting for the introduction of positive lists managed to convince four EU
member states - Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta - to present at the meeting of the EU
Council for Agriculture and Fisheries a paper calling for the introduction of positive lists uniform
across the EU. 15 other Member States supported the paper at that meeting. The EU Council
therefore instructed the European Commission to start looking into positive lists.
The European Commission responded by adopting the so-called revised CITES Action Plan, which it
approved in November 2022.
This binding document requires the European Commission to: „Explore the need for, added value of,
and feasibility of revising existing measures or creating new tools to reduce unsustainable trade in
wildlife (e.g. a ‘positive list’ of species whose specimens taken from the wild can be traded and kept
as pets; criminalising all trade in illegally sourced wildlife; or requiring the registration of all animals
and plants brought to the EU).“
The European Commission has decided to address this task by launching a EU-wide project that
would map the views on the need for a EU-wide positive list of animals in all Member States. If this
project demonstrates the need for a positive list, the European Commission will need to take action
and implement the proposal.
The European Commission launched a tender for the project in July 2023 and is now evaluating it. It
has already requested in advance a list of contacts from EU Member States, both for the authorities
and for breeders and their organisations and representatives. In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of
the Environment will be the main partner of the project implementers. In May 2023, in agreement
with the breeders, the latter sent the European Commission a list of contacts in which all our major
breeding organisations are represented. A similar list were submitted by 7 other Member States; the
others did not express any interest.
Independently of the above events in the Council of the EU and the European Commission, the
European Parliament adopted the "Resolution of the European Parliament of 24 November 2022 on
improving the legal EU legislation on wild and exotic animals to be kept as pets in the European
Union through an EU positive list (2022/2809(RSP))'. This resolution, also supported by a number of
EU member states, seeks to the same wording and the same (pseudo)arguments as in the EU Council
document. The same international activist organisations are clearly behind both documents.
However, the EP resolution is is only recommendatory, whereas the Action Plan, approved by the EU
Council, is already binding.