The Future of EU Agriculture: The Withdrawal of the SUR Regulation

red tractor on brown field during daytime

In this blog we will discuss a crucial issue that has captured the attention of farmers, legislators and citizens equally: the withdrawal of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR) by the European Commission, presided over by Ursula von der Leyen.

The SUR regulation, presented in June 2022, had the ambitious goal of a 50% reduction in pesticide use in the European Union by the year 2030. This measure aimed to address the risks associated with the excessive use of pesticides, such as water pollution, biodiversity deterioration and soil degradation. It also proposed a total ban of these products in sensitive areas and promoted low-risk alternatives.

However, the farmers reaction was concern and protest. They argued that achieving this regulation would increase bureaucratic and administrative burdens, diverting attention from their work on the ground and affecting the prices of their products. This opposition led to the SUR regulation being withdrawn and put on stand-by.

a group of people standing around a herd of cows

President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged the polarization presented by the regulation and pointed to the need for a different approach, based on dialogue and the involvement of all interested parties. This is how the Strategic Dialogue on the Future of EU Agriculture came about, an initiative that seeks to involve diverse actors, from farmers to environmental groups, in defining more sustainable agricultural policies.

This strategic dialogue, with representation from all sectors related to agriculture, will become the basis for future agricultural policy in the European Union. The recommendations and results emerging from this process will be debated in the Parliament, with the active participation of the Member States.

In short, the withdrawal of the SUR regulation marks a turning point in the search for sustainable solutions for agriculture in the EU. With a refreshed and participatory approach, it is hoped that a balance will be found between environmental protection and the economic viability of farmers in the years to come.

March 2024

Sun Chemicals Services Team

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