Federation of Hunters Associations of the European Union

The Federation of Hunters Associations of the European Union, FACE (an acronym of its French name, Fédération des Associations de Chasseurs de L'UE) was founded in September 1977 by the national hunter's associations of the Member States of the European Union (EU, formerly EEC, with 9 Member States at the time, now 15 1).
Despite its formal name, FACE is open for membership to representative national hunter's associations from all Council of Europe Member States, well beyond the EU borders. At present, it has members in 23 countries: the "Fifteen", plus Switzerland, Malta, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Estonia. Through its members, FACE currently represents some 7 million European hunters (small game shots, wildfowlers, stalkers, falconers, hunters with hounds, bowhunters ... i.e. all legal methods of taking wildlife species generally classed as "game").

FACE has two main projectives:

  • to defend and to represent its members' collective interests at the level of the European and international institutions, giving its members advance warning of any initiative affecting fieldsports, presenting the authorities with evidence and monitoring their activities, ensuring the hunter's justified concerns are taken into consideration - in other words, "lobbying"
  • to promote hunting, in accordance with the principle of wise and sustainable use of natural resources, as a tool for rural development, for conservation of wildlife and biodiversity and for protection, improvement and restoration of wildlife habitats

FACE is constantly at work alongside the institutions of the EU, the Council of Europe and international Conventions as well as other international conservation NGOs (IUCN, Wetlands International, etc.). Active already at the very early preparatory stages of legislative proposals, it strives to ensure these texts are as realistic as possible even before they come to the attention of the general public.

FACE's significance is illustrated by the following facts:

  • it is acknowledged by the European Commission - the EU's initiating and management body - as the discussion partner representing Europe's hunters, and is consulted during the elaboration and monitoring of EU wildlife legislation
  • it is the appointed Secretariat for the European Parliaments's "Hunting, Fishing and Conservation" Intergroup
  • the Council of Europe grants FACE observer status at the meetings of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention (T-PVS). FACE is also a member of certain T-PVS Expert Groups, and organizes wildlife expert meetings for the Council of Europe and its NATUROPA Centre
  • it is a founding member of European Countryside Movement, the confederation of the European organizations supporting rural development

Face, an active member of IUCN (World Conservation Union) since 1987, contributes to wildlife conservation in several ways:

  • the European Habitat Conservation Stamp Programme, a joint venture with Wetlands International and Ducks Unlimited Inc., raises funds for the conservation and managements of wetlands all along the Western Palaearctic Flyway
  • the Diana Conservation Award, a joint venture with Diana Jagt- og Fiskerejser A/S, offers a total of 5000 ECU each year to individuals, organizations and projects illustrating the principle of wildlife conservation through sustainable hunting
  • the publication of the Handbook on Hunting in Europe, giving a complete overview of international wildlife legislation and an important section on population dynamics and Wise Use
  • the holding of various Seminars/Workshops bringing together scientists, wildlife managers, politicians and officials, to investigate the links between hunting, conservation and rural development
  • the promotion of wildlife-friendly farming practises in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy

FACE has had decisive input into all EU and Council of Europe initiatives affecting fieldsports:

  • EU Directive 91/477/EEC "on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons": blocking of initiatives to have firearms classified in an excessively restrictive manner; introduction of the European Firearms Pass, to ease hunters' and sport shooters' intra-Community journeys with their firearms
  • EU Directive 93/43/EEC "on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora" ("FFH"): realistic list of protected species; emphasis on species conservation through their habitats, in most cases more effective than strict protection of individuals
  • EU Directive 92/45/EEC "on the public health and animal health problems relating to the killing of wild game and placing on the market of wild-game-meat": splitting up of one proposed Regulation applying identical provisions to farmed and wild game meat into two Directives, governing each category specifically and pragmatically, and exclusion of wild game from the scope of EU Directive 93/119/EC "on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing"
  • EU Directive 93/15/EEC "on the harmonization of provisions relating to the placing on the market and supervision of explosives for civil uses": exclusion of ammunition taken on shooting trips from the scope of this Directive; such journeys are covered by the European Firearms Pass
  • European Parliament Resolution A3-0002/94 "on the protection and conservation of wild bird species in the European Union": conversion of a draft calling for restrictions on bird hunting into a text explicitly acknowledging the ecological and socio-economic value of Wise Use and isolating habitat loss as the prime threat to wildlife conservation

[Through FACE - as it has only just been founded - was not able to play a part in the drafting of the 1979 "Wild Birds" Directive, it has played a key role in subsequent modification of that Directive, for example the addition of Corvids (Crow, Magpie etc.) To the "huntable species" listing by EU Directive 92/24EC "amending Annex II to Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds"]

  • Council of Europe Resolution 882 (1987) "on the importance of shooting for Europe's rural regions": acknowledgement of the role of responsible hunting in the economy, in wildlife management and in habitat conservation, and a call for better public understanding of shooting and dialogue between all groups

FACE, a non-profit making, non-governmental, international association with Headquarters in Brussels (B) has legal persons - associations - as members. Prospective Members are admitted by the General Assembly, the Annual Meeting of current members, among whose tasks it is to elect the Board and appoint the Secretary General of the Federation
This Board, with one Member and one Deputy from each country, is FACE's management body. It elects, from among its members, FACE's President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer General. At its meetings (usually twice a year), the Board sets the broad guidelines for action; adopts resolutions, declarations and common positions giving FACE's opinion on current topics; sets up ad hoc Working Groups to look into specific subjects and monitors their work.
The Secretary General, working with his team at FACE HQ, the Maison Européenne de la Chasse et de la Nature in Brussels (full address below), is responsible for day-to-day management, for co-ordination and orientation of member's actions, for the Federation's "early warning" system, and for preparation and execution of General Assembly and Board decisions. The FACE Secretariat works in close cooperation with all its national members.


Contact details

Fédération des Associations de Chasseurs de L'UE (FACE)
Maison Européenne de la Chasse et de la Nature
Rue F. Pelletier 82

Tél.: + 32-2-732 69 00
Fax: + 32-2-732 70 72
e-mail: face.europe@infoboard.be

Secretary General

Caroline de BOVIS
Legal Affairs Assistant

Research Assistant

Communication Assistant


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Last updated  01-12-2004.

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