MEPs question Ursula von der Leyen on animal welfare

26 Jul 2019
During her meetings with the political groups in July, members of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals questioned Ursula von der Leyen, the then candidate for President of the European Commission about her positions on animal welfare.

Ursula von der Leyen

During her meeting with Renew Europe on 10th July, Petras Auštrevičius MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup, pointed out that the European strategy for animal welfare is outdated and questioned the President-elect about her plans to improve animal welfare. She replied that animal welfare is included in the programme related to biodiversity and climate neutrality, and acknowledged that animal welfare is an issue that the European citizens want the European institutions to act upon, and that it is a “noble task to take on”.

During her meeting with the Greens/EfA group on the same day, Yannick Jadot MEP highlighted that citizens are asking for a different CAP and that the current proposal does not meet societal expectations. He called for a new CAP proposal, including the conditionality of CAP funding to climate, biodiversity, animal welfare and social justice. Von der Leyen answered that biodiversity should be included as a main topic of the CAP, and that animal welfare should be one of the main pillars.

While her speech on political guidelines for the next five years in front of the Parliament’s plenary didn’t include references to agriculture or animal welfare, von der Leyen committed to responding to Parliament’s own-initiative resolutions with draft legislation, giving the Parliament a de facto legislative initiative right. 

Fredrick Federley MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup, stressed that the Parliament has been calling for a framework law on animal welfare for years. Since von der Leyen said that she would support a parliamentary right of initiative, Federley emphasised that MEPs will hold her accountable and expect such a proposal to be forthcoming as a result.

Ursula von der Leyen will be sworn in on November 1st and become the President of the Commission for the next legislative term.