Hunting and fishing are big election issues. (Photo: Notat)

In 1979, the EU adopted the "Birds Directive". This directive had no legal base in EU law at that time and was justified by reference to Article 235 TEC - now 352 in the Lisbon Treaty, the so-called Flexibility clause.

Now measures can be taken according to Art. 191 TFEU, previosly Art. 174 TEC (see Habitat, Fauna and Flora).

Hunting has become a major election issue in several EU countries. In the 1999 EU Parliamentary elections, Jean Saint-Josse led the list of the French party defending hunting, fishing, nature and traditions - Chasse, Pêche, Nature et Traditions, CPNT.

The list got 1,200,000 votes (6,72%) and six members were therefore elected to the EU Parliament. They challenge the Birds Directive in accordance with the subsidiarity principle (that the EU should not to legislate when an aim may be better achieved at a regional level). At the EU election in 2004 CPNT had to leave the European Parliament.