Connect with us

EU

Is Juncker’s Commission running for pesticide companies? The come-back of bee-killing neonicotinoids

SHARE:

Published

on

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

pesticideThe European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  concluded in March 2015 that the pesticide Sulfoxaflor is highly toxic to bees and several required safety tests are missing (exposure of bees via nectar and pollen…). Despite this opinion, Sulfoxaflor was approved by the European Commission for use in agriculture and the approval was published on 27 July. For three neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin), chemicals with a related structure, similar EFSA opinions (toxicity, data gaps.....) made the Commission put in place a "moratorium" in 2013 because of the risks for bees.

An EFSA guidance document on the protection of bees, taking into account current scientific knowledge, was apparently not used by the Commission. This authorization clearly indicates that a rapid implementation of the new Guidance Document on the risk assessment of Plant Protection Products on bees (GD), published back in 2013 by EFSA, is necessary. The implementation of the document would permit a better protection of bees by taking into account, inter alia, sub-lethal effects such as disorientation.

A few months ago, DG Sante started to write a road map in order to prepare the discussions on the GD between different Commission’s DGs. Discussions between DGs did not even start. Such discussions might lead to an impact assessment and delay even more or water down EFSA’s GD. In the meantime, such delays permit toxic chemicals such as sulfoxaflor to keep on being authorized without a proper risk assessment.

Martin Dermine, PAN Europe’s bee expert said: “In the US, beekeepers are suing US
Environment Protection Agency for authorizing this pesticide because of the toxicity
observed on bees. The delays the European Commission seems to deliberately take in
implementing the EFSA GD and now this EU authorisation are not a good premonition for
the review of the neonicotinoid ban that will occur in the coming months. This also
confirms the limited will of the Commission to protect bees: the highly toxic neonics were
only partially banned and now a new one is coming up. This will not stimulate EU farming
sector to stop the systematic use of bee-toxic pesticides and convert towards more
environmental-friendly practices."

Advertisement

Share this article:

Belgium

Clashes break out in Brussels in protests over coronavirus restrictions

Published

on

By

Police and protesters clashed in the streets of Brussels on Sunday (21 November) in demonstrations over government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions, with police firing water cannon and tear gas at demonstrators throwing rocks and smoke bombs, witnesses said, write Christian Levaux, Johnny Cotton and Sabine Siebold, Reuters.

About 35,000 people took part in demonstrations, police said, which began peacefully before violence broke out.

Protesters wearing black hoods threw stones at police as they advanced with water cannon at the main junction in front of the European Union Commission headquarters, Reuters journalists said.

Facing up to the police lines, the protesters held hands and chanted "freedom". One protester was carrying a placard reading "when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty".

Advertisement
Police forces stand guard as people protest against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures near the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium November 21, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Protesters also threw smoke bombs and fireworks, the newspaper Le Soir reported. The situation calmed down later, police said.

Belgium tightened its coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday (17 November), mandating wider use of masks and enforcing work from home, as cases rose in the country's fourth COVID-19 wave. Read more.

There have been 1,581,500 infections and 26,568 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country of 11.7 million people since the pandemic began. Infections are increasing again, with 13,826 new cases reported on average each day.

Advertisement

Violence has also broken out in anti-restriction protests in Belgium's neighbour the Netherlands in recent days. On Friday, police in Rotterdam opened fire on a crowd.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

European Commission

NextGenerationEU: Commission receives payment request from Spain for €10 billion under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Published

on

The Commission has received the first payment request from Spain under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) for a disbursement of €10 billion in financial support (net of pre-financing). Spain's overall recovery and resilience plan will be financed by €69.5 billion in grants. Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Spain implementing the investments and reforms outlined in its recovery and resilience plan. This first payment request relates to 52 milestones covering several reforms in the areas of sustainable mobility, energy efficiency, decarbonisation, connectivity, public administration, skills, education and social, labour and fiscal policy.

The Commission now has two months to assess the request. It will then send its preliminary assessment of Spain's fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Council's Economic and Financial Committee. More information on the process of the payment requests under the RRF is available in this Q&A. More information on the Spanish recovery and resilience plan is available here.

Share this article:

Continue Reading

Belgium

'When the Smurfs meet Monkey King'

Published

on

'When the Smurfs meet Monkey King' is a children's art exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium.

The successful art exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium in La Louvière, the birthplace of Surrealism in Belgium that ended on 24 October gave the opportunity to nearly 300 local primary and middle school students in just one week to depict their vision of friendship between China and Belgium.

On 17 October, during the opening ceremony, Françoise Ghiot, Laurent Wimlot, aldermen of La Louvière, and their guests from China and Belgium attended the event. Counsellor Yang Qing, wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Belgium, also recorded a video for the inauguration of the event.

Counsellor Yang Qing said in her speech that she admired the exhibition held in La Louvière. Using pure and innocent artistic perspective, extraordinary creativity and imagination, the children have well defined the cultural elements of both countries. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium with children’s eyes, sincere feelings, those future ambassadors of friendship have expressed their visions of a better collaborative future between the two nations.

Advertisement

Ghiot said in her speech that she was very happy on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium to see children’s paintings from China. The art exhibition opened a skylight of artistic exchange for local children.

This children's art exhibition was jointly curated by the city of La Louvière, the Nardone Gallery, and Yellow Vitamines. Through the LPGA (Little Painter Global International Art Exhibition), covering 40 cities and 500 aesthetic education training institutions in China, 5000 children’s work were collected and 200 were finally selected to focus on Belgium. With the innocent help of children's brushes, imagination and understanding, art and culture provided an ideal medium to understanding differences and strengthening the bond between China and Belgium.

Advertisement

Share this article:

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending