Bulgaria follows France and withdraws authorization for banned pesticides - Finland next?

The Bulgarian ministry has withdrawn the emergency authorisation for maize treated with imidacloprid. This great win for nature and biodiversity is the result of the recent judgement by the European Court of Justice. Bulgaria follows the example of France to cancel this derogation for a banned pesticide. Other countries did not yet take this step. Urgent, for the seed season is about to start.

Together with our member organisation we wrote to the minister of agriculture in Finland to stop the 2023 authorisations. They announced that no new emergency authorisations will be given for 2024, but they did not withdraw the 2023 ones.

We also wrote to the minister in Slowakia with the same question and a letter to the minister in the Czech Republic together with the Working Society of Extension Beekeepers.

In the meantime the European Commission is silent on the ruling by the EU Court of Justice. They say they are still studying the text. This shouldn’t take them a lot of time, for the verdict is very clear. Legal experts agree that it is not only about seeds coated with neonicotinoids. Guy Linley-Adams, senior law and policy advisor at ClientEarth told Politico: “If you read it carefully, it prohibits derogations on all active substances that have at any point been explicitly banned in the EU. The judgment is very clear on that.”

Loophole in the law is closed

The ‘emergancy authorisations’ were used by EU Member States as a loophole in the law to allow the use of dangerous and banned pesticides. “With their verdict, the judges effectively closed the derogation loophole”, says Antoine Bailleux, the lawyer who represented PAN Europe in the Belgian case. However, the pesticide industry represented by CropLife Europe is trying to control the damage to their business. They claim that the verdict is only about seed treated with banned substances. Anyone who studies the court ruling can see that it is about much more than that, as we clearly explained in this blog. So we’re looking forward to the upcoming decision of the EU Commission and all EU Member States to apply EU law and end all derogations for banned pesticides.


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