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Happy World Bee Day 2024 and a Special Message Before EU Elections

On this World Bee Day (May 20, 2024), we at BeeLife are not just celebrating bees and the ancient art of beekeeping but also sounding the alarm for the urgent need for ambitious environmental policies in Europe. The time to act is now as we strive for increased environmental protection and a bee-friendly Europe. 

Our team has prepared a video message for this special day:

Recent political developments in European policy may seem distant to some, but they have a direct and profound impact on our daily lives. These policies shape our national agricultural models, influencing the food we eat and the health of our ecosystems. They hold the key to a necessary transition towards sustainable production methods that respect nature, a transition that is crucial for our future. 

Various developments in environmental policies have taken place in the EU lately. We highlight some of them below:

European Common Agricultural Policy

The European Parliament recently decided to use the urgent procedure mechanism to revise the Common Agricultural Policy. The decision follows the European Commission's proposal to weaken or remove the majority of environmental conditionality from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Members of the European Parliament have now taken a step further in creating greater risks for environmental protection. The revision of the CAP following the Commission’s proposal risks watering down hard-fought and already negotiated conditionalities for subsidies that seek to promote sustainability in Europe. Should European institutions continue this path, problems for Agriculture and Nature will become more problematic, and citizens will have to bear the costs.

Nature Restoration Law

Recently, the highly ambitious Nature Restoration Law became weaker during the legislative process, and various political groups, notably the European People's Party (the largest party in the European Parliament), opposed the bill. The Nature Restoration Law was finally approved, but it will still require strong political commitment from the political representatives elected in the next elections to produce ambitious and effective change. 

Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation

Additionally, the European Parliament rejected the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation. The bill introduced much-needed measures to enhance the market authorisation process of chemical products. Given the ever-increasing evidence of pesticides' nefarious effects on our health and on pollinators, this bill sought to bring about ambitious measures. We are facing existing legal loopholes and insufficiently enforced protection regulations for pesticides. Issues in pesticide authorisation must be resolved by the next Parliament to ensure the EU fulfils its environmental commitments. 

EU Honey Directive

Our beekeepers are also facing the harsh consequences of current challenges and unjust market conditions. European producers continuously face unfair competition with fake and adultered imported honey and other beehive products. The swift and full implementation of the revision of the EU Honey directive is needed to combat fraud. It will provide some relief to EU beekeepers by improving transparency and contrasting adulteration and fraud in the market, a step towards a fairer and more sustainable future for them.

Considering the present context on matters of pollinator protection, the approaching European elections in June will play a decisive role in procuring a safe environment for future Europeans. This is not just a political event but a chance for us to shape the future we want, and your vote can make a difference.  

With the European elections around the corner, we recently launched a series of pledges for candidates for the European Parliament to #beeCoherent. These pledges set a roadmap to strive towards a Europe with healthy fields, sustainable and fair agriculture, and thriving pollinators. 

(Follow our European elections page for upcoming analyses about vote trends on pollinators at the European Parliament, and find out which candidates have signed the pledge for pollinators).

(Are you a candidate? Sign the pledges.

We wish all our members, allies, readers and potential partners a happy World Bee Day. At BeeLife, we are ready to continue working with European institutions, agencies, and any willing partners to achieve a common objective: to halt and reverse the decline of pollinators. 


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