Saturday 25 March 2023
Home EP European Commission sticks to plan for fewer crop protection products

European Commission sticks to plan for fewer crop protection products

Most groups in the European Parliament still see nothing in the European Commission's proposals to reduce the use of plant protection products in agriculture and horticulture and even to halve the use of chemical agents. 

But Commissioner Stella Kyriakides (Health) told the Agriculture Committee yesterday that Brussels has already made several concessions, and also wants to compromise on almost all other points of criticism. She called on the Agriculture Committee to come up with solutions, instead of objections, reservations and objections.

Group spokesman Herbert Dorfmann of the EPP said the two controversial nature restoration proposals are based on the false assumption that agricultural production can remain the same if the use of chemicals is to be halved. The Christian Democrats do not think that the proposal should be amended, but that it should be withdrawn completely.

The social democrats of the S&D faction do not go that far. According to agri spokesperson Clara Aguilera Garcia, 'less chemistry in agri' is simply necessary, and society wants that too. She believes that the Commission should adjust the proposal and that it should first become clear what the European Commission means by 'vulnerable geieden.

S&D also believes that other (green, environmentally friendly) plant protection products must first be developed and authorized before Brussels can commit resources.

Commissioner Kyriakides made it clear that the Commissioners have now waived a 'total ban' on agricultural plots, and that from now on the 'least harmful means' may be used there. She also said that the country-by-country target will look at how much those EU countries have already reduced usage.

Ulrike Müller (Renew liberals) said that there is 'too much ideology in the nature restoration proposals', and pointed out that 'alternatives' are now being worked on, without taking examples. Martin Häusling (Greens) and Anja Hazekamp (United Left) made it clear that they still support plans to reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture.

Hazekamp also recalled that opponents of agri-environmental measures continue to fall back on claims that food security is at risk.

"In recent years, they have also used these arguments during the euro crisis, Brexit, the corona pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and now with nature restoration." Not that, but the loss of biodiversity is a real threat to agricultural food production, she says.

It can be concluded from Kyriakides' wording that the issue of the PPP ('Plant Protection Plan') may become a stumbling block for the LNV ministers in their Agriculture Council during the weekend of 11 and 12 December.

Several EU countries have previously expressed strong objections there, but Kyriakides pointed out that so far no country has formally voted against it. The agriculture ministers also have many objections to the lack of a 'consequence analysis', which is usually carried out when new European laws are introduced.

Earlier, Commissioners Frans Timmermans (Climate), Virginius Sinkevicius (Environment) and Janusz Wojciechowski (Agriculture) said that such studies have already been carried out and published, but that the European Parliament and the ministers are apparently not satisfied with them.


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