Pesticides: trompe-l’oeil proposal of European Commission to halve their use by half

The new regulation aims to reduce the use and risks of pesticides by 50 % by 2030, but the indicator selected compromises this ambitious objective.

by and

Europe would finally be determined to tackle an addiction that plays its agricultural system, undermines its biodiversity and threatens the health of its citizens: pesticides? The European Commission published, Wednesday, June 22, on Wednesday, June 22, a proposal to revise the regulations on pesticides. Most awaited, several times postponed, the text fixes an ambitious objective: to reduce by 50 % the use and risks of pesticides by 2030. It confirms the CAP fixed by the so -called “farm strategy”, The agricultural component of the European Green Deal.

“Time is over for pesticides,” the European Health and Health Security Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, was enthusiastic, as soon as the text presented. This is supposed to replace the old 2009 directive, which hitherto framed the use of pesticides and had not managed to escape their dependence. The new legislative proposal sets for the first time for the binding legal objectives in States.

They will be negotiated at the national level with each government. The objective can be brought up to 60 % for the most greedy states in pesticides, but also be lowered up to 35 %, depending on the progress already made. Thus, a state may fix a target of less than 50 %, if the “intensity” of its use of phytosanitary products has been less than 70 % of the European Union average (EU) for the period 2015-2017, And if its efforts to reduce between 2011-2013 and 2015-2017 were higher than the European average. 2>

negotiations promise to be tense

Questioned by Le Monde, the Government is unable to specify what objective of France plans to set itself. “We are at the start of the process. The question of the objective will be at the heart of the debates,” said the Ministry of Agriculture. The commission’s proposal must now be subject to the European Parliament and to the States. The negotiations are tight. During the European Council of Ministers of Agriculture of June 13, a dozen countries had asked to revise the reduction objectives downwards. During the presidential campaign, Emmanuel Macron, who presides over the EU until 1 er July, invoked the agricultural crisis caused by the war in Ukraine to call to revise the objectives of the strategy “From the farm to the fork”, believing that Europe could not “afford to produce less”.

Arguments brandished by the European Federation of Unions and Agricultural Cooperatives (COPA-COGECA), directed by Christiane Lambert, the owner of the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA): it supports, on the basis of ‘Studies financed by agrochemical giants, that a decrease in the use of pesticides could lead to up to 20 % decrease for certain productions, and therefore make European agriculture more dependent on imports.

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/Media reports.