Ban of plant protection products in ecologically sensitive areas off the table / Victory for farmers

Today, Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted no position on the reduction of plant protection products in a highly controversial vote. Several elements had been subject of long discussions. This includes the already high targets proposed by the Commission to reduce the use of plant protection products that in the Environment Committee had even increased. The real living conditions of farmers and the position of the Committee on Agriculture had been hardly taken into account. The Commission also proposed a ban on the use of pesticides in so-called “ecologically sensitive areas”, including bird and nature protection areas. This would have jeopardized the work of many farmers in Europe whose farmlands lie in these areas. Fortunately, these proposals could be taken off the table in today’s plenary vote.

After the vote, Dr. Peter Liese, environment policy spokesman for the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP, Christian Democrats), said:

"Today is a good day for farmers and for all those who believe that the European Union must hold back on new burdens in the current difficult global situation. A majority of MEPs have rejected the completely excessive proposal by former EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans on plant protection products. As a doctor and environmental politician, the reduction and careful use of plant protection products are important to me, but this proposal was absolutely useless. Now there is an opportunity for the Commission and Parliament to develop a sensible concept in cooperation with the agricultural sector during the next legislative period."