Over a million people in Europe sign request for ban on synthetic pesticides

Over a million people in Europe sign request for ban on synthetic pesticides
Credit: Belga

The European Commission has to decide by April 2023 whether to propose legislation banning synthetic pesticides from agriculture, following the success of a European citizens' initiative that has collected over a million signatures.

The Commission announced on Monday that the initiative - 'Save the bees and the farmers! Towards bee-friendly agriculture for a healthy environment' - has collected more than one million signatures. This obliges the Commission to decide by 7 April 2023 how it will respond to the demands of the initiative: propose legislation or other policy, or do nothing at all.

The citizens' initiative asks the Commission, among other things, to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides in European agriculture by 80% by 2030 and to eliminate them completely by 2035. In addition, the initiators are asking for the restoration of natural ecosystems in agriculture and for support for small-scale and sustainable farming activities.

The European Citizens' Initiative has been in existence since 2012 and provides citizens with an instrument to influence European policy. If the initiators manage to collect one million signatures from at least seven Member States within a year, the Commission must grant their request or explain why it does not wish to do so.

The bee initiative is the seventh to reach the one-million mark. In its response to the sixth successful initiative, the Commission pledged last year to propose legislation by 2023 to phase out the caging of farm animals.

Copyright © 2023 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.