EU CITIZENS DEMAND A FUR FREE EUROPE
Across Europe citizens, legislators, retailers and designers are turning their backs on fur.
The Fur Free Europe initiative, backed by over 1.5 million EU citizens, awaits the European Commission’s response by mid-December 2023. The Commission’s reaction carries weight, as a negative or non-aligned response could erode trust in EU institutions.
Trust, being vital for democratic processes, strengthens when citizens feel heard and weakens when they feel ignored. In this context, EU citizens have voiced their desire for a fur-free Europe, expecting the EU to implement policies that embrace animal welfare. A response disregarding these demands could erode trust in the Commission and EU institutions.
The Fur Free Europe initiative is a critical juncture for the Commission and EU institutions, impacting not just animal welfare policies but also the trust and relationship between EU citizens and EU institutions. It presents an opportunity for the Commission to show its commitment to democratic values and citizen voices.
In June 2023, at the meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH), the Austrian, German and Netherlands delegations submitted an information note, supported by the Belgian, Cyprus, Czech, Estonian, Lithuanian, Luxembourg and Slovak delegations, calling for a ban on fur farming and to examine the possibility of introducing a ban on the sale and marketing of farmed fur products. The paper then received the support of a further seven Member States during the meeting.
In 2021, the signatories of another information note called on the Commission to take action to permanently end fur farming in the EU based on animal welfare, ethics as well as health risks for humans and animals.
Dozens of organisations, including Fur Free Alliance members, have joined the call for a Fur Free Europe. In addition, more than 1500 retailers and designers around the world have already made the commitment to being ‘fur free’. These include big European based names such as Versace, Gucci and Zara.