A battle over the EU Commission’s environmental plans has been raging for months. Now the European Christian Democrats could also speak out against it – and thus stab von der Leyen in the back.
European Christian Democrats could speak out against the climate and environmental protection laws of their party colleague Ursula von der Leyen. In a draft for a position paper, which is to be voted on today at a party conference in Munich and is available to the German Press Agency in Brussels, two important environmental law proposals from the EU Commission are rejected. Vehement criticism has therefore come from the EU Commission. “The entire position paper is nothing more than irresponsible scaremongering,” officials said.
Almost a year ago, the Commission under Ursula von der Leyen presented an extensive environmental protection package. Specifically, the use of pesticides is to be halved by 2030 and damaged natural landscapes restored. For example, drained moors are to be rewetted and forests are to be reforested.
Food security argument
The draft position paper of the European People’s Party (EPP), to which the CDU and CSU also belong, states: “We reject the proposal for the sustainable use of pesticides because the reduction targets chosen are simply not achievable.” The position is also justified by the fact that the project endangers food safety in Europe. Likewise, one rejects the proposed law for the restoration of natural landscapes.
The EU Commission has always contradicted the thesis that requirements for fewer weed killers and pest controllers on fields endanger food security. “It is quite possible to reduce the use of pesticides without endangering crop yields or quality,” the EU Commission emphasized last year. There are numerous examples and studies showing that farmers can reduce the use of pesticides and save money without affecting the quantity or quality of the harvest.
“They act as if the climate crisis were a luxury problem”
Sharp criticism of the position paper also comes from the ranks of the Greens. Hardliners who blocked environmental protection in order to artificially keep partially heavily subsidized economic models alive had obviously prevailed, said MEP Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg. She also criticized the fact that the Christian Democrats’ position paper did not name any concrete proposals for a solution. “They act as if the climate crisis were a luxury problem and the fight against it was annoying bureaucracy.”
Commission officials are also more explicit behind the scenes: “These attempts to make people believe that they will run out of food if the EU restores nature and protects bees and butterflies are incredibly cynical.” According to the legislative proposals, pesticides are still an option if a farmer ultimately cannot take any alternative measures.
But not only Christian Democrats are critical of the Commission’s plans. Farmers’ representatives, too, had often spoken out against the Commission’s plans and saw them as a threat to the secure supply of food.
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