On Wednesday 29 November 2023, the Luxembourg environmental non-profit organisation Mouvement Ecologique asbl issued a statement in which it reacted to the vote in the European Parliament on pesticides.
According to Mouvement Ecologique, the use of pesticides has been proven to be dangerous for people’s health, for nature and for a “dramatic decline” in insects and bees. The association called for a significant reduction of pesticide use in Luxembourg, as well as clearer regulation at the EU level.
Last week, the European Parliament voted against a regulation that would ensure the sustainable use of pesticides, the Sustainable Pesticide Use Directive (SUD). This regulation envisaged reducing the use of pesticides by 50% by 2030 and ensuring integrated plant protection, agroecology, organic farming and better protection of sensitive areas and vulnerable groups (e.g. children).
“A black day for the health, environment and food security of future generations,” said PAN Europe, a European organisation that opposes the use of pesticides, and of which the Mouvement Ecologique is a member. “Everyone would have benefited from a strong SUD – farmers AND our environment and health. More than 6,000 scientists spoke out in favour of an ambitious SUR in order to counteract the frightening decline in pollinator insects and other species and, last but not least, to maintain our own food security.”
The voting behaviour of the Luxembourg EU parliamentarians also played an important part, the organisation pointed out. Numerous amendments were proposed for the draft, and parliamentarians had to vote on nearly 700 of them. Mouvement Ecologique argued that the proposal had been “significantly diluted” during the votes, losing majority support. Rather than reopening negotiations, an unidentified majority opted to reject the text entirely, it added. Under pressure from the pesticide and agricultural lobby, the European Parliament voted against the concerns of scientists and a majority of people but also against a transition to more sustainable agriculture and the preservation of biodiversity, the association stressed.
Mouvement Ecologique noted that some of Luxembourg’s six MEPs had consistently voted for the reduction of pesticides, whilst others had supported the majority of the proposals in this sense. One Luxembourg MEP reportedly did not take part in the vote.
According to Mouvement Ecologique, the vote showed that:
- Luxembourg must consistently implement its policy of reducing the use of pesticides;
- more pesticide-free and organic food should be consistently offered in all public canteens;
- the voting behaviour of Luxembourg MEPs should be discussed more in advance.