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Title: The bird hunting referendum in Malta
Authors: Briguglio, Michael
Keywords: Hunting -- Malta
Environmental protection -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015-06-15
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Environmental Politics. 2015, Vol.24(5), p. 835-839
Abstract: nvironmental NGOs (ENGOs) have an important role in the implementation of EU policy. They use links with European institutions to promote their grievances, particularly when they are unsatisfied with results of lobbying at a national level on matters covered by EU legislation. The Wild Birds Directive is a case in point. This piece of legislation has conservationist aims that are shared by ENGOs such as Birdlife International, which is active in all EU member states. The European Commission has taken legal action against Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, and Austria for violating this Directive. However, environmental issues linked to EU legislation have a strong national dimension. The case of bird hunting in Malta during spring is a good example. The issue has been the subject of intense political controversy and lobbying, and despite a decision by the European Court of Justice, it remained unresolved at a national level. The issue eventually escalated to a national legally binding referendum, held on 11 April 2015. Turnout for the referendum was 75%, and the ‘Yes’ movement, which campaigned in favour of hunting in spring, emerged victorious, winning 50.4% of the vote, a mere 2220 vote advantage over the ‘No’ movement.
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