On June 22, the European Commission issued a proposal for a revision of the Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. The new rules highlight the desire of the Commission to further reduce the health and environmental hazards linked to the use of pesticides across the EU. This proposal has been developed within the scope of the Farm to Fork Strategy to further promote a healthy and environmentally sound food system. By turning the current Directive into a Regulation, the European Commission intends that the new rules are applied directly in the Member States.
While primarily targeting the agricultural sector, the proposal, if adopted in its current form, would have an impact also on the sport sector as the Commission proposes a ban on the use of all pesticides in and around ‘sensitive areas’, recreational and sport grounds included. Golf, football, rugby or tennis and other grass field-based-sports would be the sports most affected by such new rules. The extent of the possible impact is currently being assessed by the EOC EU Office.
The proposal for revision, however, is still in its early stage. The European Commission is currently running a public consultation with the deadline on 19 September, to which sport organisations can also contribute. The proposal will then be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, in line with the ordinary legislative procedure. The EOC EU Office is closely following the developments and assessing the impact of this revision on the sport movement, and will inform its partners accordingly.