The European Commission misses deadline to increased use of alternatives for pest and disease control

Brussels

The European Commission missed today’s deadline to submit a report to the Parliament and the Council on increased use of alternatives for pest and disease control. Let us hope that this does not reflect an overall low ambition of Europe to reduce the risk to human health and the environment through implementation of sustainable use of pesticides.
 
The Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) foresees that the European Commission submits a report to the Parliament and the Council informing on Member States’ quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables for implementation in a move from pesticide dependant pest management to sustainable integrated pest management by today Wednesday the 26  November (1). Unfortunately, neither the report got submitted today nor have the Member States shown a commitment to fulfil their obligations according to the directive.

The analysis elaborated by the Food and Veterinary Office, and which is meant to be the basis for the European Commission report clearly says:
‘National Action Plans are inconsistent in terms of establishing quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables. In some areas e.g. testing of equipment, the plans are excellent with almost all plans setting a specific target for compliance. On the other hand, just three Member States give defined targets and timetables for measures to protect the aquatic environment from plant protection products.’

This conclusion is very much in line with the analysis undertaken by PAN Europe, showing that Member States’ ambition to reduce dependence on pesticide use is extremely low, especially in the agricultural sector (2).

PAN Europe and IBMA call on the European Commission to elaborate a report, which is honest allowing a debate to start by:

  • Highlighting that National Action Plans (NAPs) are inconsistent, and the majority of Member States are lacking quantitative objectives, targets, measures and timetables. 
  • Mentioning explicitly that none of the Member States have clearly defined how they will apply the mandatory requirement that all farmers as from 1 January 2014 need to apply Integrated Pest Management into the Common Agricultural Policy.

PAN Europe and IBMA also call on the European Commission to take a more proactive approach to ensure a solid implementation of the SUD in the future, taking advantage of the recommendations from the thematic strategy for pesticides (3) calling for that ‘Stakeholders should be able to participate in setting up and implementing the NAPs’.
We propose to include independent stakeholders in the debate on identifying best practices to promote a constructive dialog among farmers, scientists, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders (4). This will be facilitated through organising joint conferences like the one we organised on ‘Feeding Europe with fewer pesticides’ on the 4th of November in Brussels.

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Further information

Footnotes:
(1) According to article 4 of Directive 128/2009/EC establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides
(2) Reducing pesticide use across the EU
(3) http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/other/l28178_en.htm
(4) This symposium was organised jointly by International Biocontrol Manufacturer Association (IBMA), International Organisation for Biocontrol (IOBC) PAN Europe and Greenpeace, all presentations and the conclusions are available here.

For further information please contact:

For more information:
Henriette Christensen, senior policy officer PAN Europe, +32 473 37 56 71
David Cary, executive director of IBMA: + 44 777 55 14 840

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

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.