Possible delay in approval of a European law on pesticide use reduction

  • All indications are that there will be no news until after the European Parliament elections
  • The LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project supports all initiatives for environmentally friendly fumigants

Brussels, 15 December 2023. The approval of new legislation on pesticide use reduction will have to wait until at least the second half of 2024. The Spanish Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Luis Planas, has assured that “it seems difficult” that the European Union (EU) will manage to approve the law on the reduction of the use of pesticides before the elections to the European Parliament in June. The European project LIFE NextFUMIGREEN for the development of natural fumigants, based on active substances extracted from plant extracts to control pests in greenhouses, is presented as the best alternative in this situation. 

This delay represents a new step backwards in terms of fumigants, since last November 22, the European Parliament rejected a text on pesticides presented by the European Commission.

At the meeting of the heads of agriculture and fisheries of EU member countries held this week in Brussels, the Spanish minister, under the umbrella of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU, has not been optimistic for the adoption of a new text in the short term. “We will see if this dossier can be concluded or not, it seems difficult, before the next European elections”, declared Planas. 

Rejected initiative and short-term future

The European Commission’s pesticide reduction legislative initiative was presented in June last year and put forward legally binding targets at national and EU level to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides and the use of the most hazardous pesticides by 50% by 2030. During this year and a half, the law has faced several obstacles that, for the time being, it has not been able to overcome.

In December 2022, the countries asked the European Commission for an additional impact analysis due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and in June this year, the EC assured that the entry into force would not put food safety at risk. The EC executive went further and warned that rejection of the pesticide reduction target would have long-term and potentially irreversible effects on food safety in the future. This debate also took place between the Environment and Agriculture Committees of the European Parliament, and the lack of understanding has condemned this initiative.

Despite the European Parliament’s rejection of the law, the Member States in the Council have the option of approving their support for the draft legislation and then the European Parliament could decide for or against what the countries have decided, so that the law could still enter into force. Planas has assured that there have been small consensual advances, such as the use of drones to facilitate spraying, and has taken the opportunity to stress the importance of reducing pesticides from the point of view of the sustainability of food production.

The LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project supports all initiatives that are committed to environmentally friendly fumigants and the reduction of those that may pose a danger to food safety. The use of hazardous chemicals and pesticides is not only harmful to humans, but also to the biodiversity of those places where these environmentally harmful products are applied. 


The European LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project actively promotes food safety by developing natural fumigants from plant extracts to control pests in intensive greenhouse horticultural crops. With the leadership of Fumihogar and the collaboration of the Fundación para las Tecnologías Auxiliares de la Agricultura  la Fundación Finnova ; B&B Asesores Auditores Ambientales ;Comercial Quimica Masso  y BrioAgro Tech, the project has a total budget of 2,758,921.01 €, 60% subsidized by the LIFE Program.


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