Next week in Strasbourg, Parliament votes on three reports on plans to modernise EU law on pesticides (part of the „pesticides package”).
From their different standpoints, the chemicals industry, farmers, health professionals, environmentalists and the general public will be watching to see if the plenary endorses the amendments adopted by the EP Environment Committee. The debate takes place on Monday 22nd October, the vote on Tuesday 23rd.
A press conference follows at 3pm on Tuesday. Pesticides have a three-stage life-cycle: the placing on the market of new pesticide products; the day-to-day use of pesticides; and the end-of-life or „waste” stage. The pesticides package deals only with the first two stages, as waste is covered by other legislation. The package consists of a Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (a set of policy guidelines) together with legislation to implement the Strategy.
Parliament's response to the Strategy itself is contained in an own-initiative report by Irena Belohorská (NA, SK), adopted by the Environment Committee by 54 votes to 0, with 1 abstention. The committee makes various recommendations, including a call on Member States to promote low pesticide-input farming, giving priority to non-chemical alternatives. It also stresses that only „quantitative use reduction targets” (set by the Member States themselves) will prompt governments to lower the amount of pesticides used. (EP Press)