1 Million EU citizens knock on the EU door: end the war against nature

November 25th – Commissionaires Jourová and Kyriakides receive Bees ECI demands

Friday 25 November at 15h civil society formally knocks on the door of the EU institutions. Representatives of the European Citizens Initiative Save Bees and Farmers will deliver a clear message to commissioners Jourová and Kyriakides: we want an end to the war against nature. To restore biodiversity the use of synthetic pesticides has to be strongly reduced by 2030 and completely phased out by 2035. The EU should support farmers to achieve these goals.

We demand a say in the discussion on our health and our environment. This debate can no longer be dominated by the chemical industry and its allies who lobby in favour of industrial farming. There can be no agriculture and food security without healthy soils, clean water and biodiversity. Industrial agriculture is on a dead-end road. The monopoly of the merchants of death is over.

We are over 1 million EU citizens on our way to a toxic free world. We advocate for the restoration of nature, healthy food, healthy soil and clean water, flowers in the fields and biodiversity everywhere in our environment.

The formal Save Bees and Farmers initiative demands are:

  1. A phase-out of the use of synthetic pesticides: By 2030 the use of synthetic pesticides shall be gradually reduced by 80 percent in EU agriculture. By 2035, agriculture in the entire Union shall be working without synthetic pesticides.
  2. Measures to recover biodiversity: Habitats shall be restored and agricultural areas shall become a vector of biodiversity recovery.
  3. Support for farmers: Farmers must be supported in the necessary transition towards agroecology. Small, diverse and sustainable farms shall be favoured, organic farming expanded, and research into pesticide-free and GMO-free agriculture will be supported.

The citizens’ initiative is officially validated and the European Commission will have to come with a formal answer. In Januari an official hearing in the European Parliament will follow.


The meeting with the commissioners and their staff will take place in the Berlaymont Building of the European Commission on Friday, November 25th at 15h. There will be a photo shoot with a delegation of the citizens’ committee on the Schuman roundabout at 14h.


The European Citizens Initiative was organised by organisations from all countries in the EU. Signatures with the formally required personal data were collected in all member states. Ten countries reached the minimum threshold set by the EU and the total number of valid signatures makes it an official request on the agenda of the European Commission and Parliament.

Signature collection: in green are the countries where most signatures were collected and that passed the minimum threshold. Out of the total amount of 1,18 million signature 89% was valid (registration address and date of birth or ID number correct), 1,05 million signatures and 10 threshold countries.

The official results can be found on the website of the European Commission.


For more information please contact:

  • Martin Dermine, +32 486329992
  • Tjerk Dalhuisen, +31 614699126


© 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.