Europe to accelerate the phase out of chemical pesticides

Since France has taken over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1st January 2022, phasing out pesticides has become a EU priority.

This objective stands in line with the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, which aim at a 50% reduction of the use and risk of chemical pesticides and of the use of more hazardous pesticides by 2030, compared to 2009. This is to be achieved through a revision of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive of 2009, which is to be proposed in March 2022 under the supervision of French Minister for Agriculture and Food. It would be the first time that the EU sets quantitative reduction targets for pesticides. The Minister also stressed that cutting the use of chemical pesticides will require a coordinated effort of all the EU Member states and pinpointed support to farmers as prerequisite for a smooth transition.

In the context of the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU also plans to improve the provisions on integrated pest management to promote the use of alternative control techniques such as crop rotation.

To achieve these objectives, France is holding a seminar in June on the theme: “What research to meet the pesticides reduction objectives embedded in the European Green Deal?”. It will present key scientific works and provide a platform for discussions between researchers and professionals on how to cut the use of chemical pesticides.