Many politicians vying for seats in the Slovak parliament have shown a distinct lack of enthusiasm for greening the EU’s agricultural policy on GMOs, pesticides and unproductive land as the 30 September election looms.
Of the nine major parties in the mix, only three – Progressive Slovakia (PS), KDH and OĽANO – appear to embrace the concept of a more environmentally friendly transformation of agriculture. While environmental concerns within the sector are not disputed, many of these parties remain sceptical about the European approach to addressing them.
But with Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, the target of making EU agriculture has become more contentious, with member states and parts of the European Parliament now harbouring heightened concerns regarding food security and the welfare of farmers.
“We reject various ill-considered (European) ‘green plans’ that do not meet the basic technical criteria of technical feasibility, economic sustainability or ecological efficiency,” the far-right Republic Party writes in its election programme.
As for Smer, which is currently leading in the polls, said it will only support greening that does not “drastically endanger” and reduce the competitiveness of the European and Slovak economies.
Regarding the European Commission’s proposal to relax restrictions on certain genomic techniques used in plant genetic engineering to improve traits such as resistance to insects and drought, for example, all political parties consulted expressed their opposition.
Opinion was further divided on the Commission’s target to reduce the use of pesticides. While most parties disagree with the target of halving the use of chemical pesticides in pest control by 2030, PS and OĽANO do not.
As for the EU’s Nature Restoration Law, which proposes that a tenth of agricultural land should be kept in an unproductive state and which MEPs approved in a close vote this summer, all parties oppose it. Only the PS has come out in favour of setting aside more unproductive land for this purpose.
(Barbara Zmušková | Euractiv.sk)
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