No Valentine's Day Gift

On Tuesday, 14 February, Sarah Wiener (AT, Greens), in her capacity as rapporteur of the ENVI Committee on the EU-Regulation on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (SUR), published her eagerly awaited report.  

Reading time: 1m 30s

EU legislation to protect plants (Photo: nickjene/
EU legislation to protect plants (Photo: nickjene/

Not surprisingly, the Austrian not only accepts the Commission's demands, but goes even further. For example, Wiener demands a reduction of "hazardous" pesticides by 80% by the end of this decade. In comparison, the Commission had proposed a 50% reduction by 2030.


In her report, Sarah Wiener refers to "hazardous" plant protection products as those that contain active substances that have, for example, neurotoxic, carcinogenic, reprotoxic or endocrine properties. Wiener also does not like the term "plant protection products" in the title of the Commission proposal. This term trivialises these substances. She prefers the term "pesticides” instead.

Reference period 

According to Agra-Europe (AgE), the press service for the agricultural sector, Sarah Wiener does not want to change the Commission's idea of halving the overall use of plant protection products by 2030. However, she calls for the reference period of the average use to be shifted to the period between 2018 and 2020. She justifies this by saying that the reference point must be as representative as possible, as increasing fluctuations in temperature and precipitation due to climate change would have a significant impact on diseases and pests. Furthermore, the MEP, who also sits on the Agriculture Committee, proposes to tighten the timetable for the reduction of plant protection products - there is talk of a mandatory interim reduction target by 2026. The aim, she said, must be to enable the timely setting of individual reduction targets for Member States. Above all, this would give farmers planning security more quickly. The roadmap proposed by the Commission was "too slow and could lead to the final definition of the targets only being fixed in the course of 2027".

Sensitive Areas

With regard to the application of plant protection in so-called sensitive areas, Sarah Wiener insists on excluding nitrate-sensitive areas from the definition. This is justified by the fact that they are not relevant for the purposes of this regulation. She also proposes that the areas notified by the Member States to the register of nationally designated protected areas (CDDA) should only include those areas whose conservation objectives relate to the protection of nature, biodiversity or habitats. In addition, Wiener advocates allowing the use of plant protection products approved for organic farming in certain protected areas. Furthermore, a buffer zone around sensitive areas of ten metres instead of three metres should be designated. AgE/ddw


Latest Articles