S&Ds support pesticide ban on Ecological Focus Areas

S&Ds support pesticide ban on Ecological Focus Areas, Commission’s Delegated Act, Eric Andrieu MEP,

The Socialists and Democrats today led a cross-party coalition supporting a ban on the use of pesticides in Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) across the EU despite strong right-wing opposition.

The vote on the Commission’s Delegated Act proposing the ban took place after efforts to block the application on the pretext it might affect availability protein feed.

The Delegated Act consists of 14 measures providing significant simplification for farmers while proposing a ban on pesticides in EFAs. These areas represent only 5% of arable land per farm and less than 8% of the arable lands in Europe. Some, but not all are used for crops.
S&D spokesperson on agriculture Eric Andrieu MEP said:

“By fully supporting the Commission’ Delegated Act (DA) - against EPP, ALDE ECR and ENF - Socialists and Democrats showed once again that they stand for environmentally sensitive agriculture.  Not only is the DA a positive step forward toward reinforcing the biodiversity value of EFAs and sustainable agriculture but also represents a serious commitment towards greening within the Common Agricultural Policy.

“The arguments of the right wing parties that the ban would have an economic impact on protein production and increase protein deficiency in the EU are not only tenuous but also dangerous. They totally ignore the fact that the ban aims primarily at protecting the health of our citizens and the environment.

“The use of pesticides cannot be considered compatible with the preservation and development of biodiversity. It is vital that EFAs are used for their main purpose, namely the preservation of biodiversity which is currently one of the major challenges the agricultural sector is faced with.

“This is even more relevant in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement. In this context, members from across the Parliament stressed that the EU must send a strong message and lead ‘by example’ on climate change and ecological matters. This should start with our protection of Ecological Focus Areas.”