We represent the EAZA Community at the EU level to share Members’ expertise and engage in the legislative processes.


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:

  • EU legislation 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.
  • EU Zoos 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.

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EAZA publishes position statements that lay down our organisation’s position on key current topics in international policy and legislation. Some of these statements concern issues that directly affect zoos and aquariums and their functioning, whereas others pertain to wider topics of interest to EAZA Members, with particular regard to the mission areas of conservation, education and research.

You can find all our positions statements in the EAZA Documents section of this website

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EAZA Manifesto for 2019 EU Elections

On 23-26 May 2019, elections to the European Parliament will be held in all EU Member States. The 705 elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will play a crucial role in ensuring that the laws and policies of the EU contribute to halting the decline of the environment and enable our community to fulfil its mission in conservation, research and education.

EAZA has published an elections Manifesto in which we invite the MEP candidates and their political parties to endorse the following goals:

  • Make the protection of European and global biodiversity a political priority.
  • Make the EU the standard-setter for zoo and aquarium legislation.
  • Safeguard the health and welfare of animals in human care and in the wild.

In the months leading to the elections, members of the EAZA community are discussing these goals, and the role of modern zoos and aquariums in addressing them, with the candidates in their countries and regions across the EU and across the political spectrum.

Download the EAZA Manifesto on the European Parliament elections 2019, or flip through the pages...

El Manifiesto EAZA también está disponible en español.



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

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