Make your vote count in the EU elections! See what candidates think about pesticides

As the European Union elections approach, citizens across Europe should understand the immense impact their votes can have on the future of Europe, and beyond. The decisions made by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) directly influence a wide range of policies. They relate to topics such as environmental protection, public health, sustainable agriculture and the use of pesticides. To help citizens decide on whom to give their vote, with Friends of the Earth Europe we prepared a Questionnaire for candidates running for the EU Parliament in June 2024 on behalf of the ECI "Save Bees and Farmers!". We asked candidates in their language to detail their positions on key issues such as agriculture, environmental protection, and pesticide use.

On top of the questionnaire, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the voting patterns of the EU Parliament. This was based on votes of MEPs on the proposal for pesticide reduction (SUR). Within the framework of the Food Policy Coalition, PAN Europe also contributed to the analysis of a set of key votes regarding the need for a transition to sustainable food systems, including the proposals for the SUR, the Soil Monitoring Law and the recent weakening of environmental requirements for subsidies in the Common Agricultural Policy. We found a concerning trend: many conservative and most of far-right MEPs have repeatedly voted against proposals and amendments designed to secure the health of citizens and protect our environment. These amendments included measures for:

  • Protection of ecosystems and biodiversity: provisions aimed at reducing pollution, conserving a healthy environment and natural habitats and protecting biodiversity.
  • Water Protection: provisions to ensure clean and safe water for all citizens.
  • Sustainable Farming Systems: Initiatives to support farmers in transitioning to more sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Reduction of Pesticide Use: Efforts to minimise the use of harmful pesticides that threaten both human health and the environment.

These votes have real-world, far-reaching consequences that affect the quality of our air, water, food, ecosystems and overall well-being of the EU citizens. By opposing these proposals and amendments, many conservative and far-right representatives are undermining efforts to create a healthier and more sustainable Europe.

Empowering Citizens: Our Questionnaire for EU Parliament Candidates

In response to these troubling trends, PAN Europe now takes proactive steps to empower voters with information. We are pleased to announce that we have received a significant number of responses. Many candidates have committed to supporting policies that aim to:

  • Support reducing the use of pesticides
  • Prioritise citizens’ health and the environment and human rights over industrial interests
  • Support the EU to maintain its commitment to the Green Deal and its Farm to Fork Strategy
  • Engage to stop the export of EU-banned pesticides to third countries
  • Promote a system with independent advice for farmers
  • Link the CAP subsidies to sustainable farming practices 

By publishing the answers, we hope to provide voters with clear insights into where candidates stand on critical issues that affect our environment and health. Keep in mind that no answer from the candidates is also an answer!

Your Vote Matters: Make an Informed Decision

The upcoming EU elections offer a pivotal opportunity for citizens to influence the direction of EU policies. By voting, you are not just choosing representatives; you are shaping the future of Europe. Here’s why your vote is essential:

  • Protecting Public Health: Ensure that policies prioritising the health and well-being of citizens are implemented.
  • Sustaining the Environment: Elect representatives who are committed to tackling climate change and protecting our ecosystems and natural resources.
  • Supporting Sustainable Agriculture: Back candidates who will lead the transition to sustainable farming practices, ensuring long-term food security and environmental health.

Take Action: Participate in the EU Elections

We urge all EU citizens to participate in the upcoming elections. Review the responses to our Questionnaire, educate yourself on where candidates stand on issues that matter to you, and cast your vote for those who will work towards a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

By making an informed decision, you can help ensure that the EU Parliament supports policies that protect our environment, promote public health, and foster sustainable development. Your vote is your voice, use it to advocate for a better tomorrow.

Together, we can make a difference. Participate in the EU elections and help shape a sustainable future for Europe.

For more information and to view the candidates' responses to our Questionnaire by country (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) or check the joint document with all replies received from the candidates for the EU Parliament.

Read more: 

Are you a candidate running for the EU Parliament in June 2024? You can still fill in the questionnaire in Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

© Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe), Rue de la Pacification 67, 1000, Brussels, Belgium, Tel. +32 2 318 62 55

Pesticide Action Network Europe (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.