Today, the European Parliament has decided to keep the ecological focus areas (EFAs) “ecological”. MEPs were called to vote on a resolution proposed by the AGRI Committee of the European Parliament against the ban of pesticides use in the EFAs.
The EFAs, introduced with the 2013 Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reform, represent an attempt to bring some benefit to the environment, promoting and improving biodiversity on farms. This aim clearly cannot be reached by allowing the use of pesticides.
However, the environment has won just by default, as the veto on the ban did not reach the absolute majority needed for approval (at least 376).
The result has to be considered positive, even though 363 MEPs voted in favor of the veto, with just 267 against and 43 abstentions. European institutions should support what citizens are actually asking for: a more sustainable and healthier agri-food system. The use of pesticides cannot be part of that, as demonstrated by the nearly 1 million signatures for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to ban the pesticide glyphosate.
For now, at least the EFAs can breath a sigh of relief, as thanks to today’s vote the ban can finally come into force.
Click here to read the Slow Food response to the consultation process launched by the DG for Agriculture on the CAP legislative framework.