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Brussels, 10 July 2012
Conservation of the wolf population in Sweden
European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and the Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek met today to discuss the management plan for the conservation of the wolf population in Sweden, in the context of the infringement procedure that is currently open.
On this occasion, Mr Potočnik made the following statement:
"I welcome the management plan submitted by the Swedish authorities as an important step in achieving compliance with EU environmental rules. I'm reassured by the fact that Sweden has respected EU law regarding protective hunting during the 2012 season and I appreciate the efforts being made by the Swedish authorities. I think Sweden is on the right track.
I have encouraged Sweden to continue to act in a transparent and open manner with all stakeholders. I see this management plan as an excellent opportunity for strengthening a process where all people would feel a real ownership of the policy. The more stakeholders are involved in the plan's development, the less controversial its implementation will be.
The management plan contains good elements but needs further improvement. In particular, the management plan should indicate how and when the favourable conservation status of wolves will be reached, what would constitute a sustainable population size, and what measures will be taken to improve the genetic status of the wolf population. The plan must be able to withstand scientific scrutiny, notably the definition of a minimum viable population of wolves. The European Commission is also looking forward to receiving the Swedish Government's assessment of the Large Carnivore Investigator's report.
Following our meeting I am reassured that we can expect to see further improvements to the management plan before it starts to apply in January 2013."