The European Parliament this Wednesday rejected a report on the European Commission’s proposal to halve the risk and use of pesticides by 2030. With a close final vote – 299 votes against, 207 votes in favor and 121 abstentions – the environment, public health and rapporteurs did not get the green light to negotiate a diploma with European Union (EU) governments.
The long vote on the amendments is reminiscent of the vote on the Nature Restoration Act, except that, unlike in July, this time MEPs actually avoided blocking the proposals for the amendment of the Regulation on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (SUR, for short in English), rejecting the diploma to be analyzed again by the Environment Committee of the European Parliament.
The Environment Committee’s report on the European Commission’s proposal to regulate the use of chemical pesticides has been subject to a series of amendments that have stripped the plan of strength. The final text, much changed with those approved by the Special – especially due to the changes proposed by MEPs from the most right-wing parties in the European Parliament and the Liberal Renewal Group – ended up. Rejected by the votes of the parties.Left and extreme right in E.P. Finally, a request for a re-analysis of the text by the Environment Committee was also rejected, this time with right-wing votes, ending the possibility of the European Parliament having a say in the negotiations. file.
The EU Council, which brings together ministers from member states, has yet to define its collective position on the Commission’s proposal. This will determine whether file It will either fail outright or eventually return to the European Parliament – in a much less ambitious version than agreed by MEPs in the field.
“For this legislature, SUR is dead”, lamented MEP Sarah Wiener, rapporteur for the Environment Committee proposal, at a press conference shortly after the vote. “It’s a very dark day for the environment and for farmers.”
Liberal MEP Pascal Confin, chairman of the environment committee, also expressed regret at the decision. “There will be no European legislation to reduce pesticides”, Announced on social media (formerly Twitter). “After completely destroying the text, the right-wing and far-right coalition voted against continuing the work in the committee, winning by 30 votes. European voters will judge.
The position agreed by MEPs in the field sought to reinforce the European Commission’s proposal, which aims not only to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 50%, but also to reduce the use of so-called “highly dangerous substances” by 65%. compared to average 2013-2017 (Commission proposed 50% target for both based on 2015-2017 average).
MEPs called for a ban on all chemical pesticides in specific areas, such as Natura 2000 zones and urban green spaces, and a new EU target to increase sales of low-risk pesticides by 2030.
However, proposals to reduce pesticide use by 50% are worrying lobby Agriculture from the beginning. Copa-Cogeca, an organization that brings together producer associations across the EU, applauds the rejection of the environmental group’s position and characterizes the European Commission’s approach to plant protection products as “ideological”.
“MEPs have sent a decisive message: the lack of dialogue, the imposition of objectives from above, the refusal to assess the impact and the underfunding of agricultural projects must end now”, argues the interest group in a report sent immediately after the vote. .
The “Bogeyman” of Food Sovereignty
In Report of the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, executive director, Martin Termine, recalled that “thousands of scientists and millions of citizens demanded a reduction in pesticides to protect health and the environment.” “By not responding to these demands, it is clear that the European Parliament is sending a negative signal to voters about its ability to deal with important social issues. lobby Agribusiness has taken control of our democratic assembly”, he further lamented.
One of the main reasons given against pesticide regulation, like the Nature Restoration Act, is the threat to European food sovereignty – a “bogeyman” that has been debunked by thousands of European researchers (including nearly 100 Portuguese). A scientific paper, published in JulyThere, based on scientific research, many of the arguments used against proposals for a European environmental treaty are dismantled.
Earlier in the week, the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) published a report reporting how the SUR negotiations were strongly affected. lobby An industry with potential costs to both human health and the environment. The CEO has hundreds of documents from the European Commission and 27 Permanent Representations of Member States, documents submitted to public consultations, public consultation events, lobbySponsored content published in the media and questions asked to the actors concerned.
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