European Commission Consultations
A consultation launched on 14 September 2017 by the Environment and Trade Departments of the European Commission aimed to compile information and views on the extent, structure and main features of legal and illegal trade in ivory in and from the EU, as well as on the priorities that the EU should follow in its approach against ivory trafficking. The consultation, which was open to contributions from ‘all citizens and organisations’, closed on 8 December 2017. The European Commission’s page on the public consultation on Ivory Trade in the EU contains a short factual summary as well as a brief synopsis report on the results of the consultation. It includes:
- A Factual Summary Report of the Public Consultation by the Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission on Ivory Trade in The European Union From February 2019
- A Detailed Analytical Report of the Public Consultation on Ivory Trade in the European Union from May 2018
- A survey of replies received from stakeholders in the ivory trade which can be downloaded from the page in the form of 5 Excel spreadsheets.
On 28 January 2019, following on from this consultation and a stakeholder meeting in 2017, the European Commission organised an informal meeting with stakeholders to exchange views on potential additional EU measures, namely tightening restrictions and streamlining current regulations on the trade in ivory within and from the EU. The informal meeting was attended by the EU’s Directorate-General for the Environment, CINOA (the international federation of art & antique dealer associations), representatives from wildlife conservation groups, trade bodies from Spain, France, Germany and the UK. The European Commission floated the idea of upgrading the proof needed for pre-1947 worked ivory, however conservation groups called for stricter rules, with some demanding a total ban.
The European Commission’s discussions with Member States began in February 2019. Hugo-Maria Schally of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment noted that any changes required to the legislation itself could take several years.
Towards the end of 2019, a third stakeholder meeting was held. On this occasion, several NGOs and other stakeholders met with the European Commission and submitted further recommendations. It is understood that the ball is now in the European Commission’s Court and a clarification on its position towards an ivory ban is expected by the next meeting of the CITES Convention Standing Committee is due in October 2020.
Key related documents:
- The European Commission commissioned this report from TRAFFIC: Examining Options for Possible Restrictions on Ivory Trade in and from the EU – Summary of EU Member States Responses to the European Commission Questionnaire, March 2018 (presented to stakeholders in January 2019).
- Recording of the European Commission Stakeholders’ meeting on CITES Ivory, 28 January 2019