Animal rights movement in European Parliament likely to be tripled
The international movement “Animal Politics EU”, which consists of the Party for the Animals in the Netherlands and its ten European sister parties, will gain five to seven seats in the forthcoming European Parliament elections, according to opinion polls in several European countries. This means the animal rights movement in the European Parliament could triple in size. At the moment, there are two MEPs active, namely Anja Hazekamp (the Netherlands) and Stefan Eck (Germany), who have been elected to the European Parliament from parties for animals.
For the first time in history, as many as eleven parties for animals from across Europe are preparing to participate in the European Parliament elections. The eleven parties participating to the EU elections come from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Sweden, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, and possibly the United Kingdom. Last Thursday, they presented their collective manifesto “Animal Politics EU: may we have your votes, please?” in the European Parliament in Brussels.
"Our movement is stronger than ever. In more and more countries, animals are given a voice in politics, which reflects the growing resistance to the way animals are treated. Our growing international movement is consistent in protecting human as well as animal interests", says Anja Hazekamp.
"It is fantastic to see how we are growing", says Silvia Barquero of the Spanish animal rights party PACMA. "Our party was founded just after the Dutch Party for the Animals, and we have always looked to them as an example. We were not taken seriously at the start either, and it really helped us to see how the Party for the Animals addressed other political parties". Barquero is looking forward to collaborating with Hazekamp. "We are already working together on a petition against small animal cages. More than likely that will be our first proposal in the parliament."
If it was up to the Animal Politics EU Group, the parties would form one complete group in five years’ time. "Our greatest goal is to form one political family, preferably in the near future. That is why we are growing so fast. This is just a phase in that growth process, there will be much more", says Francisco Guerreiro of animal rights party PAN in Portugal.