1 million European valid signatures to Save Bees and Farmers
Last year, we collected 1,161,257 million signatures from citizens across Europe for the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Save Bees and Farmers calling on the European institutions to fully phase-out synthetic pesticides by 2035 and support farmers to make the transition to a environmentally-friendly farming practices.
Today, the ECI has passed the 1 million valid signatures milestone. The certificates of 27 EU member states have been accepted and the European Commission has declared the ECI successful.
As we’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book ‘Silent Spring’, this success states the obvious: EU citizens want to strongly reduce pesticide use and EU governments should support an ambitious new SUR pesticide reduction law.
As a next step, the organisers – a cross-sector alliance of civil society organisations covering the environment, health, farming and beekeeping, among whom the European networks Friends of the Earth Europe and the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe as well as the Munich Environmental Institute, the Aurelia foundation (Germany), Générations Futures (France) and GLOBAL 2000/Friends of the Earth Austria – will be invited by the Commission. Within 3 months, a hearing in the European Parliament will take place to exchange with MEPs about the ECI’s demands.
What are citizens asking for?
The ECI calls on the European Commission to introduce legal proposals to:
- Phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035: Phase out synthetic pesticides in EU agriculture by 80% by 2030, starting with the most hazardous, to become 100% free of synthetic pesticides by 2035
- Restore biodiversity: Restore natural ecosystems in agricultural areas so that farming becomes a vector of biodiversity recovery
- Support farmers in the transition: Reform agriculture by prioritising small scale, diverse and sustainable farming, supporting a rapid increase in agroecological and organic practice, and enabling independent farmer-based training and research into pesticide- and GMO-free farming
For more information, read PAN Eurpe’s press release.