S&Ds: No bees, no food, no life. The EU Commission must take immediate action to reduce the use of pesticides and save pollinators

The S&D Group welcomes the approval today in plenary of the Resolution on the ‘EU Pollinators initiative’, which highlights the importance of pollinators to agriculture, the threat to food production posed by current declines and the need to take urgent and transformative action to protect and restore pollinators and their services. We also stressed the importance of promoting measures to encourage biodiversity and protect the diversity of pollinator species in Europe.

It is crucial that the Commission and the member states raise awareness on this issue and put in place concrete actions to support green infrastructure that recreates and restores mosaics of habitats and functional connectivity for pollinators in rural and urban landscapes.

The S&D environment committee coordinator, Jytte Guteland, said:

“Bees and other pollinators are fundamental for our ecosystems, our food production and hence for the future of our society. Three quarters of all the food we produce in Europe is dependent on pollination. It is really quite simple, no bees means no food. It is high time Europe switches to a greener agricultural model and a more sustainable use of pesticides to better protect our pollinators. That’s why the S&D Group demands mandatory EU-wide reduction targets for pesticides in order to create a non-toxic environment and to put an end to pollinators’ decline.”

The S&D shadow rapporteur, István Ujhelyi, commented:

“Remove the bees from the earth and at the same stroke, you remove at least one hundred thousand plants that will not survive.

“Wild and domesticated pollinators are vital for food security, are key to support our ecosystem, and they are important for the economy: their impact is visible in food production as 15 billion euro of the annual agricultural output is directly linked to the pollinators. Four out of five wild flowers and crops in the European Union depend on insects for pollination.

“Unfortunately, the diversity and the number of the pollinators has declined since 1970.

“Pollinators are declining mainly because of environmental pollution, climate change, pesticide use, urban development and agricultural management. We need to take urgent and transformative action to protect and restore pollinators in general – both domestic and wild – and their services. We need to get rid of pesticide dependency to protect our children and our planet’s future.”