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Özdemir calls for improvements to EU plans on pesticides

Germany's winegrowers are worried because EU plans to reduce pesticides would make winegrowing impossible in many places. The Minister of Agriculture is campaigning for realism in Brussels and would like to see some kind of tailor-made solutions.

Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir considers the EU's plans to reduce pesticides in viticulture as well to be unrealistic. One shares the fundamental goal of halving the use of pesticides by 2030, said the Green politician on Saturday in Radebeul, Saxony, a wine-growing region. But in the EU's ideas for implementing that goal, he said, "a few gross errors of craftsmanship" had crept in. "I address that at every opportunity in Brussels and promote that one makes appropriate corrections."

Korrekturbedarf sees Özdemir, among other things, in the definition of sensitive areas and the high bureaucratic burden. He said that with viticulture and fruit growing, one has special crops that also need special conditions. "We have a structure that other countries do not have in this way," Özdemir said. This must be taken into account. A balanced solution is necessary. The interests of nature conservation and agriculture can be brought together well. One does not need to invent the wheel again " and has for instance with the Biodiversitätsstärkungsgesetz in Baden-Wuerttemberg a good collecting main.

Özdemir expressed itself convinced that the present plans of the European Union are not converted in such a way. For it the Federal Republic with other partners in the EU will provide. There are signals from the Commission that one has understood the concerns. He added that past efforts must also be taken into account. Those who have been diligent and made an effort in the past should not be punished for it: "The motto cannot be: The diligent is the stupid (...) Throwing out the baby with the bathwater has never been a good idea." His motto is a "policy with measure and middle".

The EU floats, among other things, the use of pesticides in sensitive areas - such as in nature or landscape conservation areas - to prohibit completely. The same applies to areas in the immediate vicinity of residential developments. In Saxony's small-scale cultivation area, however, this is the rule. Saxony's Minister of Agriculture Wolfram Günther (Greens) assumes that the EU, in its efforts to increase nature conservation, had primarily large agricultural areas in mind when it drafted the plans. In Saxony, wine is grown by about 1500 vintners on an area of 500 hectares.

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