The second annual meeting of European Chapters organized by Safari Club International was held in Milan with the collaboration of the Italian Chapter.
During a Christmas greetings cocktail and awards ceremony at the Beretta Gallery for the best SCI Italian Chapter 2019 shooter, we hosted the presidents of the European chapters who had already arrived in Milan. Also present were SCI representatives for legal and international affairs -- Anna Seidman and Jason St. Michael -- and the SCI President Steve Skold.
The following day, the meeting was held at the Hotel Gallia Excelsior, attended by the Chapter Presidents of Spain, Nordic regions (Norway, Denmark, Finland), Sweden, Ukraine, London, Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary and Italy. Also present were European Region 43 representative and Iberian Chapter President José Maria Losa Reverte; European coordinator Joao Russo Corceiro; Chairman of the IADC (International Affairs and Development Committee) and International Director Miguel Estade; and International Directors Anders N. Engstrom, Bela Hidvegi, Zsolt Kohalmi and Uberto d'Entreves. SCI President Steve Skold also participated and contributed to the work.
Numerous topics of organizational nature were addressed, followed by details of the problems that the various chapters are facing in their countries and those of a general nature that we are trying to tackle at the European Community level.
The meeting opened with a projection by Jason St. Michael describing Safari Club International, its objectives and the reasons to become a member. This overview was so instructive that everybody asked to receive it in the original file in order to distribute it to the general public and also to our members, to clarify any doubts and increase the spirit of belonging and pride that we all already feel.
A very important topic was, without doubt, the European-level reorganisation of SCI activity.
The decision to create the European Committee, a structure with its own staff aimed at coordinating European activities, was confirmed.
Safari Club International will also participate economically, allowing employment of a person dedicated to the European committee’s administrative and organizational management.
The mission of this committee will be to coordinate the activities of the European Chapters and ensure that they are in accordance with the general guidelines of SCI, to report any critical points encountered to Safari Club International, to help increase the number of members and, basically, to increase SCI influence in Europe and in the legislative seats of the European Community.
Discussed were the most current topics that the chapters are dealing with, along with the different issues inherent to hunting in the various Countries, range from the possible ban on the import of trophies into England, to the closure of hunting for foreigners in certain regions of Switzerland.
The difficult relations with the European Institutions were also examined, as well as the efforts made with FACE and other associations to avoid the promulgation of laws and regulations that are even more punitive towards hunting and the world of firearmss in general.
The last part of the meeting was dedicated to the humanitarian and conservation projects carried out by the European Chapters in the last year, as well as the reports made by representatives of each Chapter on the activities organized for members during the year.
Miguel Estade and President Steve Skold then closed the meeting, inviting everyone to the Convention in Reno as well as the next European Chapters meetings. These include the Spring meeting in Madrid on March 21, 2020 at the Cinegetica Hunting Show and in Oslo on November 21, 2020 for the winter gathering.
The meeting was held in an atmosphere of great harmony. The long day ended with a dinner that was extraordinary, not only from the culinary point of view, but above all, as a collective gathering.
Roderick Enzerick, the public affairs director of FACE, also attended the dinner. A big toast and group photo kicked off the dinner, with speeches by SCI President Steve Skold, Miguel Estade and José Maria Losa Reverte. The evening continued in the name of friendship and togetherness, with exchanges of hunting tips, tourist destinations in Italy and other countries, exchanging recipes to cook wild meat best and setting common goals for the future, firmly convinced and proud to belong to the largest and most important hunting defense and environmental protection group.
The gathering ended with the wish to meet everyone again in Reno Feb. 5-8 at the 48th Annual SCI Convention.--Elena Fileppo, SCI Italian Chapter