German coalition deal says EU farming support should remain at around current levels
Germany’s draft coalition deal includes a goal of ending use of the weed-killer glyphosate within the country but gives no time frame, after Berlin swung a vote in November extending its use across the European Union.
The timing of an end to glyphosate use has been highly controversial in Europe amid a heated debate over whether the chemical causes cancer.
“We will with a systematic minimalization strategy significantly restrict use of plant protection chemicals containing glyphosate, with the goal of fundamentally ending usage as fast as possible,” the draft deal to establish a new German coalition government said.
The draft, published on Wednesday on the homepage of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU party, did not indicate a schedule for ending glyphosate use.
“We will develop alternatives jointly with the agricultural sector as part of an arable farming strategy which will regulate environmentally friendly and nature-compatible use of plant protection chemicals,” it added.
The new strategy will conform with EU rules, it said.
In November, German agriculture minister Christian Schmidt caused international controversy and a major row in Germany’s government by unexpectedly backing a European Commission proposal to permit use of glyphosate for the next five years.
The move by Schmidt, a conservative, effectively allowed the extension in glyphosate use within the EU, despite opposition from France and from the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany’s current government coalition.