Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides

In 2009, The EU adopted a framework 2009/128/EC Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (SUDP). beyond setting quantitative use reductions ,the most important measures of the SUDP,  are:

  1. Implementating IPM, for all EU farmers to apply from 2014, so ”professional users of pesticides switch to practices and products with the lowest risk to human health and the environment among those available for the same pest problem.” (Article 14.1). The importance is to give priority to preventative elements
  2. Giving priority to non-chemical alternativesMember states shall take all necessary measures to promote low pesticide-input pest management, giving wherever possible priority to non-chemical methods.”(Article 14)
  3. Ensure that pesticide use is minimised or prohibited in specific areas (Article 12)
  4. Establishing appropriately-sized buffer zones to protect non-target aquatic organisms and safeguard zones for surface and groundwater used for the abstraction of drinking water, where pesticides must not be used or stored (Article 11)

As part of the implementation of the SUDP, member states should adopt National Action Plans setting objectives and timetables to reduce risks and impacts of pesticide use: See European Commision website with all the National Action Plans

Sustainable use of pesticides, particularly in the form of compliance with the principles of integrated pest management, was originally going to be included in cross‑compliance in the Common Agricultural Policy from 2014 onwards. However, in its proposal for a regulation on financing the CAP during 2014‑2020 (that resulted in Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013), the Commission explicitly excluded the sustainable use of pesticides and integrated pest management from the scope of cross‑compliance by omitting the sentence that specifically referred to it. According to Regulation (EU) No 1306/201328, the timeframe of this inclusion is now uncertain.(Special Report 2014:  Integration of EU water policy objectives with the CAP: a partial success)

Very few Member States are taking the implémentation of the SUDP very seriously. PAN Europe has undertaken different actions with our members encouraging needed changes towards less use of pesticides in the EU.

Activities by PAN Europe:

PAN Europe activities aim to assist in the implementation of Directive on Sustainable use of Pesticides Directive (SUDP) by making sure that farmers start applying integrated pest management, that Member States engage and as a result that the SUPD becomes fully integrated into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

PAN Europe works together with towns in implementing the SUDP proposing them alternative solutions on how to stop using pesticides in public areas. PAN Europe works closely with network members to gather evidence and allow exchanges.

Past Activities:

21 March 2017, Open Letter to DG Sante on the Implementation of the Sustainable Use Directive on Pesticides

12 April 2017, Response by DG SANTE

10 November 2016, Letter on National Implementation of the Directive 2009/128/EC establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides

   01 December 2016, Reply by the European Commission, DG Sante

29 October 2015, Letter to DG Health Director General Xavier Prats Monné on the implementation of the Directive on sustainable use of pesticides

   21 January 2016- Reply of Director General Xavier Prats Monné

PAN Europe Report: Reducing pesticide use across the EU, Report analysing the National Action Plans, 2014

27 March 2014, Press Release Member States are far from complying with EU targets to reduce pesticides use: High time for the European Commission to take action to ensure respect of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive.

20 June 2013, Press Release Sustainable Use of Pesticides, an EU Challenge: Very few Member States are engaging to reduce their use of pesticides

March 2014 Letter to Commissioner Borg on national implementation - Download Commissioner Borg's reply here.

June 2013 Letter to Commissioner Borg on national implementation - Download Commissioner Borg's reply here.

15 December 2010, Joint Press Release by Pan Europe and HEAL More guidance for countries on EU pesticide legislation needed

PAN Europe Guide on NAP Best Practice to assist and support EU member states in producing their National Action Plans (NAP) as required under the Sustainable Use Directive Sustainable use of pesticides: Implementing a National Action Plan

PAN Europe Baseline Study on National Action Plans - 2009 Baseline

PAN Europe Workshops

Report on pesticide use in France: Aerial spraying in France-Forests And Pesticides, by Generation Future ( PAN Europe member in France)

Survey on pesticides use: Pesticides - a toxic education? a survey of pesticides in UK schools (pdf), by HEAL (January 2010)


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PAN Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, Life+ programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.