Declaration Pesticide Free Towns

The SIP Forum signed the declaration from Mayors and MEPs which was officially presented to the Round Table on Pesticide Free Towns held at the European Parliament on 27 September 2018. The swift adoption at European level of a law (already passed in France) prohibiting the use and sale of chemical pesticides in urban areas would both protect the health of people living in those areas and encourage the survival  of the microrganisms, fauna and flora that live in the soil and are at severe risk from pesticides.

The SIP Forum regards support for this declaration to be a first step towards educating mayors and their administrations. Without waiting for specific laws or regulations, municipalities can take steps to implement the content of the declaration, which springs from simple good sense. Many mayors from various EU countries, and Italy in particular, have already introduced municipal regulations leading to the elimination and non-use of pesticides in the areas they govern. The first step is to start by informing and educating Continua a leggere “Declaration Pesticide Free Towns”

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Food Strategy 2030

Pre-election periods always see an increase in activity on the part of elected bodies. At the local level we see roads being resurfaced, road signs replaced, more frequent cleaning, the sprucing up of public spaces…

The same is ture, though in different forms, of those who are elected to the European Parliament. From now until May 2019 there will be a crescendo of meetings, debates, conferences, interviews, media appearances, on the subjects that are closest to the hearts of MEPs – and give them the greatest visibility.

The question of the soil has never greatly appealed to parliamentarians, since it is complex and difficult to discuss. This period is an exception, though, because work is underway in the Research & Innovation Directorate-General of the European Commission on developing a Food Strategy for 2030. In this context, the soil is one of the most important topics and – regardless of the timing – is also gaining a lot of media coverage. Continua a leggere “Food Strategy 2030”

Strategia Food 2030

I periodi precedenti le elezioni vedono una rinnovata attività da parte delle strutture pubbliche. Nei Comuni si assiste alla asfaltazione di strade, rifacimento di indicazioni stradali, incremento di azioni di pulizia, abbellimento di spazi pubblici, …

Lo stesso dicasi, in forme naturalmente diverse, anche per i rappresentanti del parlamento europeo. Da qui a maggio 2019 vi sarà un crescendo di riunioni, dibattiti, conferenze, interviste, contributi mediatici, sulle tematiche che più stanno a cuore e danno maggiore “visibilità” agli stessi parlamentari.

Di complessa e difficile presentazione, il suolo non è mai stato un tema particolarmente “appetibile” dai parlamentari. Fa però eccezione questo periodo perché è in corso la formulazione di una Strategia per l’alimentazione per il 2030 da parte della Direzione Generale della Ricerca. In tale contesto, il suolo appare come uno degli argomenti più importanti e – indipendentemente dal momento – assurge a visibilità anche mediatica. Continua a leggere “Strategia Food 2030”

The students of the Uccle European School (Brussels)

Parents send their children to school so they can learn. Teachers generally want their students to understand and absorb what is shown to them. The greatest satisfaction, however, comes when students surprise us with their fresh ideas.

On 5 December 2017, the SIP Forum organized an event with the title “Soil is life!” at the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels with the aim of raising awareness of the soil’s importance for all human beings. Teachers at the European School of Brussels arranged for some of their students to attend the event, in order to stimulate their interest in this complex subject. Their involvement led immediately to increased understanding that extended well beyond the evening itself. Continua a leggere “The students of the Uccle European School (Brussels)”

International arbitration clause – incompatible with the EU!

In the past, we talked about the international arbitration clause, stating it was an additional mechanism invented to prevent multinational companies from being affected by policies defending the environment and human rights. Now, the European Court of Justice (EUCJ) has ruled that such a procedure is incompatible with EU law ().

According to the ruling handed down on 6 March 2018, “the arbitration clause in the bilateral investment treaty has an adverse effect on EU law and is therefore not compatible with it”. This marks the first time that the EUCJ issues a ruling on the regulatory procedure of dispute settlements between investing undertakings and States. Continua a leggere “International arbitration clause – incompatible with the EU!”

NEWS ON SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Circular Economy

The time is ripe to revive circular economy in the EU.  In a matter of weeks we have seen a specific European Parliament resolution being prepared[1], as well as the long-awaited approval of the EU strategy on plastics[2], and a communication on the options to address the interface between chemical, product, and waste legislations[3]. All of these points are covered in the report from the Commission on the implementation of the circular economy action plan[4] published in January 2017. Among the conferences and debates that surround this report, it is worth mentioning the European circular economy stakeholder platform conference that took place in Brussels on 20 and 21 February[5], as well as the third international circular change conference – unfolding circular economy roadmaps – in Slovenia next 10 and 11 May[6].

Does it serve a purpose? Continua a leggere “NEWS ON SOIL AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS: Circular Economy”

Implementation of the directive on environmental liability

Policies pursued by the European Union over recent years have led to an increasing disenchantment amongst citizens. They have also led to a growing distrust, to the resurgence of nationalism and archaic tendencies that everyone thought were long buried. It even gave up on promoting and highlighting environmental policies envied by many countries worldwide. Indeed, Europe is one of the few places in the world that still happens to defend the value of nature and the environment.

We would like to draw your attention to the European Parliament resolution of 26 October 2017 on the application of the Directive on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (also called the “ELD” or “Directive on environmental liability”). Continua a leggere “Implementation of the directive on environmental liability”

European nature in the plural

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. With such ruthless environmental degradation, with less political attention being given to the importance of environmental protection, with many still denying climate change, an adrenaline-shock is needed to fuel hope and need to change.

The Dutch have attempted to do so. The report entitled “European Nature in the Plural. Finding common ground for a next policy agenda” was recently published. It is aimed at strongly encouraging EU governments to build a new reference for environmental protection, which must be supported by stronger political efforts. The report focuses on biodiversity and on the protection of nature, in order to add to renewing current legislation beyond the year 2020. Soil and its biodiversity are naturally an important component. Continua a leggere “European nature in the plural”