The European Commission (EC) has proposed new rules to halve pesticide use in the European Union (EU) by 2030, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) wrote.

Proposed by the EC on 22 June, the aim of the new regulation on the sustainable use of Plant Protection Products (SUR) is to reduce pesticide use and potential risk to human health and the environment across member states, according to the 13 July Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report.

Designed to encourage the reduction of pesticides through integrated pest management and the use of alternatives to chemical pesticides, the proposals are in line with the EC’s ambitions under the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy, the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report said.

The EC’s approach to reducing the use and risk from pesticides by 50% is to set the EU’s targets to which member states will contribute, according to the report.

To implement this, three options had been proposed by the EC, ranging from non-legally binding targets at the EU level to legally binding at both the EU and member state level, the USDA said.

“The Commission’s preferred scenario is to prohibit the use of all chemical pesticides in sensitive areas. As for the reduction targets, the preferred option would be to have the 50% reduction targets become legally binding at the EU level, while member states would set their own national reduction targets using established criteria,” the report said.

The proposal is open for feedback until 22 August.