While the ‘EAZA region’ extends far beyond the borders of the European Union and indeed beyond Europe, most of our Members operate within the legal framework of the EU.

EAZA represents its Members in EU processes and at EU institutions. We provide our Members with the most up-to-date knowledge on key policy developments, convey EAZA’s positions to the decisionmakers and ensure that the Association – striving to be the leading voice of the European zoo community – actively contributes to the shaping of high-quality policies and laws.

Our legislative work focuses mainly on the nature and biodiversity law of the EU, in particular:

  • EUlegislation on wildlife trade, derived from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The EU has been a party to CITES since 2015.
  • EUZoos Directive which provides the base for national zoo legislation in EU Member States, sets out the public role of zoos and requires Member States to develop and implement a license system for zoos.
  • EU Invasive Alien Species regulation, aimed at eliminating the threats that non-native invasive species of animals and plants pose to Europe’s ecosystems and economy.
  • EU Animal Health Law, a new framework which is expected to streamline existing legal acts into a single law, with simpler rules and clearer responsibilities.

We collaborate with a wide range of other environmental stakeholders, sharing our Members’ expertise in conservation, research and education and promoting the role that modern zoos and aquaria play in these areas.


The policy work is coordinated by the EU policy team (part of the EAZA Executive Office), in close liaison with the relevant EAZA committees, in particular the National Associations Committee and the Veterinary Committee.

For more information please contact our EU Policy Manager Tomasz Rusek or EU Policy Coordinator Allan Muir

Postal address: Blvd Louis Schmidt / Louis Schmidtlaan 64 (c/o IUCN EU), 1040 Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium