Citizens' initiative result recognized; EU must now respond to bee conservation

The European citizens' initiative “Save bees and farmers” has collected the necessary one million signatures and is now recognized by Brussels. The EU Commission considers 1.054 million signatures submitted in the 27 EU countries to be valid.

Approval was particularly high in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. In contrast, in Croatia, Lithuania and Greece, the minimum thresholds were not met. 

The citizens' initiative called for at least 80 percent less use of chemical-synthetic crop protection within eight years. From 2035, there should be a ban on the use of chemicals that are believed to be responsible for the loss of biodiversity and the extinction of bee species.

According to the initiators, farmers and scientists have now shown that food production is also possible without chemical agents. According to them, society pays a high price for the use of chemical agents, such as the pollution of the groundwater.

Following the recognition, the European Commission now has three months to take a position on the demands of the citizens' initiative. In recent months, the EU commissioners have already launched proposals to halve the use of chemicals in agriculture over time.

Many agricultural organizations are particularly opposed to this. They say that without crop protection agents, harvests will be significantly smaller, causing food prices to rise.

The signatories of the EU-wide petition believe that there should be a subsidy for farmers who want to switch to organic farming, without the risk of chemical residues in food.