Protecting the soil is an imperative for us all. Without healthy soil, there can be no food, and no future.
“We want the European Union to recognize soil as a common good and to make a commitment to its sustainable management as a priority. We have 12 months to collect the required 1 million signatures, which must come from at least seven European countries. The Slow Food network, which is present in every EU country, will be mobilized for the next year on this campaign. If we can reach the target by September 2017, the European Commission will have to intervene to protect the soil.” Paolo Di Croce, General Secretary of Slow Food International
The official launch of the initiative took place at Terra Madre, with the Official Kick-Off of the European Citizens’ Initiative People4Soil. At the moment, soil is not subject to consistent regulations in the European Union countries. The Soil Framework Directive was withdrawn in May 2014 after eight years of blocking by a minority of member states, and the EU policies that do exist in other sectors are not sufficient to guarantee an adequate level of protection for all the soils in Europe. Erosion, soil consumption, fertility loss, compacting due to the use of heavy machinery, salinization, hydrogeological instability and contamination from pollutants have negative impacts on human health, food security, natural ecosystems, biodiversity and climate, not to mention our economy. European citizens have the right to take part in the development of EU policies thanks to the European Citizens‘ Initiative (ECI). The ECI is an important tool for participatory democracy, a measure thanks to which a million European citizens living in at least a quarter of the member states can ask the Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act.