Fighting the Martina Decree: We won the first battle!

Italy’s former government promulgated a decree introducing some very dangerous pesticides in February 2018.
The goal was fighting an illness of olive trees called Xylella in the southern region of Puglia. Two of the pesticides — Imidacloprid and Acetamiprid — are potentially mutagenic and constitute a serious threat for human health, the quality of soil, water, and bees. This is why they had previously been either prohibited or heavily regulated by EU legislation.
At DiEM25, we were confident that the Martina decree was illegal — and that’s what we wrote in our formal complaint to the European Commission on Monday morning.
Today, the Commission informally stated that we were perfectly right.
The Italian press agency ANSA writes: “as a spokesperson of the EU Commission underlines, after a complaint was submitted by the political movement of Yanis Varoufakis, DiEM25, and the NGO The Good Lobby, the Commission is aware of the fact that in the ministerial decree the Imidacloprid is listed among substances that could be used against the carrier insect. However, this use would require first of all a specific authorisation from the Italian authorities, which has not yet been issued: therefore its use is prohibited. There is also an obligation for the Italian authorities to notify the measure to the Commission”.
This is exactly what our complaint was about.
We obtained a first, very important victory today: but this is only the first battle and, together with the NGOs that have been fighting for years, together with our local activists, and with disobedient farmers and mayors, we must go and win the war now.

  • We demand the new Italian government to immediately modify or withdraw the Martina decree. The risk, in the event that the Government decides not to do so, would be to run into the umpteenth EU infringement procedure.
  • We demand the European Commission stand its ground to protect the fundamental right to health of Puglia’s women and men.
  • We demand all stakeholders, farmers, mayors, NGOs and citizens to extend the constructive disobedience to an illegal decree and to refuse to apply it.

Let’s go all the way — with our head in Brussels and our feet in the territories.

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