The European Union is home to five species of large carnivore. These include the brown bear, the wolf, the wolverine and two species of lynx, the Eurasian lynx and the Iberian lynx. Historically these species have all suffered dramatic declines in numbers and distribution as a consequence of human activity. Due to increases in their prey and forest cover and favourable legislation the last few decades have seen a positive response, with most populations stabilizing or increasing again. A result has been the return of these species to many areas from which they have been absent for decades. At least one of these species is currently found in 21 EU countries.
However, while this recovery can be viewed as a great conservation success it has resulted in controversy in some areas. In response the Commission has initiated a range of measures to encourage cooperation between member states, engaging in dialogue with stakeholders and promoting best practices in management methods. These pages provide an introduction to the Commission's activity on large carnivores.
Launch and first working session of the EU platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores
On 10 June 2014, the European Commission hosted the launch event and the first working session of the EU platform on Coexistence between People and Large Carnivores in the Committee of the Regions, Brussels.
The Directorate General for the Environment of the European Commission has worked for two years on setting up a structure to support and facilitate constructive dialogue among the key stakeholders at European level. Members of the Platform will share and exchange experience aimed at finding commonly agreed solutions to conflicts arising from coexistence of people with large carnivores.
High-level representatives of eight stakeholder organizations signed an agreement on the key principles of engagement in the activities of the Platform , under the auspices of Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
Ms. Annabelle Jaeger, Member of the CoR from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region, welcomed the participants of the event (read her speech).