European Citizens Initiative - Save bees and farmers

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Avizul CESE: European Citizens Initiative - Save bees and farmers

Key points:

The EESC:

  • would first like to congratulate the organiser and acknowledge the commitment of citizens towards this achievement, given the difficulty in collecting all the signatures needed. It therefore calls on the Commission to provide precise and specific answers to the requests made by this ECI;
  • regrets that the main proposal of the ECI, consisting of a total phase-out of synthetic pesticides by 2035, is not highlighted in the title chosen: "Save the bees and the farmers". Moreover, the EESC points out that many legislative acts are being prepared or have already been adopted by the Commission in favour of bees, pollinators, biodiversity, the sustainable use of pesticides, and support for farmers in the agro-ecological transition. It recognises, however, that these measures have not fully achieved their objectives. It therefore calls on the Commission to take additional measures to achieve its ambitious objectives more effectively in practice. For example, it recommends stronger support for precision agriculture, digital agriculture, biological control, and robotics, as well as agro-ecology;
  • stresses the need to take into account all three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social and economic), without neglecting the economic situation, which is often overlooked, in an essential context of systemic sustainability and food sovereignty;
  • calls on the Commission to carry out impact assessments before taking any decision, in order to assess, in particular, the costs of the initiative for agricultural production and the economy, compared to the financial cost of biodiversity loss for farmers.