The importance of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive

Aiming to achieve sustainable use of pesticides in the EU, Directive 2009/128/EC sets minimum rules to reduce the risk of pesticide use affecting human health and the environment.

The Directive promotes the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and alternative techniques such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides. It establishes a basic framework for the EU member states, who need to set up their own National Action Plans to implement the actions laid out in the Directive.


The Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy (central pillars of the European Green Deal) set two main targets in regard to pesticides. The strategies aim to reduce by 50% the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 2030 and to reduce by 50% the use of more hazardous pesticides by 2030.

On the other hand, the European Citizens Initiative 'Save Bees and Farmers', signed by 1.2 million people, is demanding the phase-out of synthetic pesticides in EU agriculture by 80% by 2030, starting with the most hazardous, to become 100% pesticide-free by 2035. ​


The next version of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive will be published in spring 2022.

BeeLife is closely following the revision of the Directive to make sure that pesticide use is reduced in favour of pollinators as well as the objectives of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies are translated into national legislation. As part of the revision process foresight studies and impact assessments are carried out aiming to develop possible future scenarios for the sustainable use of pesticides and the reduction targets announced in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies.


BeeLife with other NGOs are fighting to increase the ambition of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies and to introduce as a valid scenario the 80% reduction of pesticides by 2030 in the revision of the Directive.