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February 2024

EU farming group welcomes vote against pesticides cut

The decision by MEPs to reject a proposal for tighter regulation of pesticides “invalidates the ideological approach” by the European Commission on plant protection products.

This is according to the group representing EU farmers and agri co-ops, Copa Cogeca which welcomed the outcome of the vote in the European Parliament today (Wednesday, November 22).

MEPs rejected the commission’s proposed Sustainable Use Regulation (SUR), which would see a reduction of pesticide use of 50% across the EU by 2030.

The group said that the “lack of dialogue, the imposition of objectives from above, the refusal to assess the impact, and the lack of funding for agricultural proposals must end now”.

“EU farmers and agri co-operatives will continue to improve their environmental sustainability, but they need realistic objectives and the necessary support.

“Two elements that are completely missing from the commission’s text,” the group, which denounced the “gap between political rhetoric and the lack of concrete solutions” of the proposal, said.

While MEPs “tried to improve” the proposal, Copa Cogeca said, they realised that this would “not be enough” and sent the proposal back to the commission.


“All this polarisation could have been avoided and solutions found without the ideological obstinacy of a few decision makers during the whole process,” the group claimed.

“Solutions can only be found through dialogue with farmers and their co-operatives, not by imposing disconnected objectives from the top with no solutions,” Copa Cogeca said.


Meanwhile, Fine Gael MEPs Seán Kelly, Frances Fitzgerald, Deidre Clune, Maria Walsh and Colm Markey have expressed their disappointment at the outcome of today’s vote.

The five Fine Gael MEPs voted in favour of an ambitious pesticides regulation, including amendments to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030 across the EU.

They pointed out that Ireland already has a low usage of such plant protection products compared to other EU member states and is “on course” to meet this target.

The MEPs said they would like to see a practical pesticides regulation, allowing some flexibility for national authorities to decide on pesticide usage in designated “sensitive” areas.

The next steps for the SUR, which was proposed by the European Commission in June 2022, are yet to be determined following today’s vote. QR Code

Published Date: November 23, 2023

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