Banning caged farming in the EU: Hearing on the European Citizens’ Initiative

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

The public hearing, organised jointly by Parliament’s Agriculture and Petitions Committees, on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “End the Cage Age will be opened by Committee Chairs Norbert Lins (EPP, DE) and Dolors Montserrat (EPP, ES) alongside Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová.

ECI organisers Olga Kikou and Leopoldine Charbonneaux will present the initiative’s objectives, after which, a scientist and a farmer will share their views. They will be followed by statements from Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, and by Kerli Ats and Guillaume Cros, respectively representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Committee of the Regions.

A debate between MEPs, the ECI organisers and the Commission will follow, before remarks from Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski and final statements by the ECI organisers.

WHEN: Thursday, 15 April, at around 09.00 CET

WHERE: European Parliament, Paul-Henri Spaak building, room 03C050, Brussels (remotely)

The draft programme of the hearing is available here. The hearing will be web-streamed here (Parliament’s Multimedia Centre).


The European Citizens’ Initiative allows 1 million citizens from at least a quarter of EU member states to ask the European Commission to propose legislation in areas that fall within its competence. Organisers of successful initiatives are invited by the EU to present their initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament, in front of the committee responsible for the subject matter.

The “End the Cage Age” ECI was registered with the EU Commission on 5 September 2018. By the time of submission, the initiative gathered support of almost 1.4m signatories from across the EU, with the required threshold for signatures met in 18 member states.

The initiative calls on the Commission to “end (…) inhumane treatment” of “hundreds of millions of EU farm animals (…) kept in cages for most of their lives” and for an EU law to ban the use of: cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese; farrowing crates for sows; sow stalls, where not already prohibited; and individual calf pens, where not already prohibited.

Information to the media

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Parliament is reducing the need for physical meetings on its premises, without compromising its role of democratic scrutiny and its ability to approve the necessary legislative measures to combat the virus and support the public, consumers, businesses and emergency services.

The meeting will be web-streamed and can be followed by the media without requiring their physical presence on EP premises. Journalists wishing to enter Parliament’s premises must wear either a surgical mask or an FFP2 respiratory mask (without valves) and respect the standard recommended guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

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