SUR – Pesticide Regulation – Delayed by Additional Impact Assessment

Pressure from the pesticide lobby and big-ag has successfully delayed the SUR, a regulation essential to reaching Farm to Fork pesticide reduction targets across the EU. On December 19th, at a meeting of the EU Energy Council, the formal request for an additional impact assessment was passed without any Member State blocking it. So what’s next? Ashley Parsons reports

Pressure from the pesticide lobby and big-ag has successfully delayed the SUR, a regulation essential to reaching Farm to Fork pesticide reduction targets across the EU. On December 19th, at a meeting of the EU Energy Council, the formal request for an additional impact assessment was passed without any Member State blocking it.

The European Commission must now prepare a new so-called impact assessment within 6 months, although it has already prepared a similar assessment once.

The press release announcing the adoption of the request for an additional impact assessment states:

“Commissions’ impact assessment does not provide adequate quantitative analyses regarding the potential impact of the proposal on the EU’s agricultural sector and potential increased food dependence, nor does it consider the impact of the proposed ban of plant protection products in sensitive areas, especially given the limited availability of low-risk alternatives to regular chemical pesticides, and without similar requirements for imported foods in the EU market. It further notes that reduction targets at national level should be decided in a flexible manner, taking into account the specific conditions of each member state.”

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Ramona Duminicioiu of Eco Ruralis explains why Romania is asking for the additional IA, stating, “They [Romanian Agri-Council members] are completely sold on the idea that industrial farming feeds the world and is the future. Also they are using the argument that Romania has the lowest level of use of pesticides in the EU, which is true but this is only the merit of small farmers and peasants, not the industrial farmers and companies.”

A block on the submission of the formal request for the additional impact assessment would have been big: essentially it would have meant energy ministers scuppering something agri ministers were trying to do. Fear of reprisals  – tit-for tat retaliation for similar procedural A list legislation – could have been on the cards.  

Not over yet

Despite the setback, NGOs and citizens are doubling down on efforts to get the legislation approved. After all, in a matter of a few short weeks, hundreds of scientists and hundreds of NGOs have come together in various ways to mobilise and message on this important topic.

GLOBAL 2000 is launching a mobilization campaign in January to save the EU pesticide reduction targets. “Together with the international partners of the successful European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Save Bees and Farmers’, we will inform the public EU-wide about the problematic attacks on central goals of the European Green Deal. At the same time, we want to convince decision-makers with arguments to pursue a constructive policy that makes Europe’s agriculture fit for the future.”

And maybe law makers are listening?

On January 24, 2023, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., the organizers of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save Bees and Farmers” will to present their demands for pesticide reduction and restoration of biodiversity to MEPs and the European Commission in the European Parliament. The event will be broadcast live. Stay tuned to this space for more information leading up to the event.

The SUR chronicles

COP out – all eyes on 19th Dec as Council aims to derail Pesticide Regulation (SUR)

SUR-ely not? Big Ag Backers Push to Derail Pesticide Regulation within Days

 

SURe to find excuses – MEPs, Ministers & their PPPs (Persistent Pesticide Proposals)

SUR-e To Have Setbacks – Pesticide Reform Stuck

Pesticide Regulation too Important to Delay – Civil Society Orgs

CAP’s Value, Public Canteens and Cutting Pesticide Use – EU Roundup

Op Ed | Hunger Games and Locked in Pesticides

Can the CAP Strategic Plans Help in Reaching our Pesticide Reduction Goals?

Brussels July 22 Bulletin – there are always exceptions

Commission Adopts Regulation to Half Pesticide Use by 2030 – But More Work Needed

 

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About Ashley Parsons 23 Articles

On her 7000km journey from France to Kyrgyzstan on bicycle and horseback, daily interactions and sometimes long sojourns with rural farmers and grassroots organizations showed Ashley Parsons the resilience and strength of our rural communities. Ashley is a writer and journalist dedicated to exploring potential and existing systems of inclusive progress, whether they are found in the agro-economy sphere or in the larger biodiversity and environmental conservation movement. In her work with ARC2020, she acts as the Paris correspondent, covering newsworthy agri-food and rural topics at the EU level, communicating with partners, and assisting with the on-the-ground work of Nos Campagnes en Résilience in supporting farmers and other rural actors.

A propos d’Ashley Parsons

Lors de son voyage de 7 000 km de la France au Kirghizistan à vélo et à cheval, Ashley a fait de nombreuses rencontres avec les paysans et des membres associatifs de terrain. Elle a même séjourné plusieurs semaines chez certains d’entre eux découvrant, ainsi, la force et la résilience des campagnes. Écrivaine et journaliste, Ashley s’est consacrée, principalement, à l'exploration de systèmes progressistes - tant aux possibilités qu’à l’existant - qui favorisent l’intégration sociale, et se trouvant dans le monde agro-économique ou de manière plus large, dans le mouvement de conservation de la biodiversité et de préservation de l’environnement. Au sein de l’association ARC2020, elle est correspondante pour la France, couvrant les actualités agroalimentaires et rurales au niveau de l'UE. Elle fait partie de l’équipe « Nos campagnes en résilience », pour soutenir la communication avec les partenaires ainsi que le travail sur le terrain.