The New CAP: paving the way to a more sustainable use of pesticides

The New Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is due to enter into force in 2023, proposes a more flexible approach based on performance and results while taking into account local conditions and needs. Focused on social, environmental and economic goals, it is built around ten key policy objectives including: climate change action; environmental care; preservation of landscapes and biodiversity; protection of food and health quality; and fostering knowledge and innovation.

At the heart of the new CAP are binding environmental and climate standards for all member states to promote the use of eco-friendly pesticides and fertilisers. Pesticides play an important role in the protection of crops. However, overuse can lead to harmful impacts on the water, soil, and agricultural biodiversity and human health, which is why the New CAP is focused on creating regulations on its use.

On top of that, a key immediate focus for the European Commission would be to overhaul the sustainable use of pesticides directive adopted in 2009 to bring it in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, meaning slashing chemical pesticides use and risk by half (Euractiv, “On EU Commission’s menu for agri in 2022: pesticides, carbon removal, packaging”, 7 October 2021).