Integrated Pest Management Experts Collaborate on Crucial European Pesticide Regulation Reform

Leading agricultural experts from across Europe have published policy recommendations to support the ongoing discourse surrounding the proposed European Regulation for Sustainable Use of Pesticides (SUR). This regulation, if approved, will replace the current Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) and has far-reaching implications for agricultural practices across Europe and potentially the United Kingdom.

In an era marked by rising pesticide resistance and stringent chemical restrictions, maintaining, and increasing food production has become a paramount challenge for European agriculture. To address this challenge, farmers and advisors are seeking innovative ways to enhance crop protection while embracing integrated pest management practices. The IPMWORKS project, funded under Horizon 2020 (2020-2024), comprises 31 partners from 16 European countries, including 13 EU member states. IPMWORKS seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in substantially reducing pesticide usage while simultaneously providing effective weed, pest, and crop disease control in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, the project aims to promote “holistic IPM” by facilitating knowledge exchange among farmers and disseminating success stories through demonstration events.

Insights from the IPMWORKS project have been imperative in formulating policy recommendations for the SUR proposal. The proposed SUR marks a significant departure from the current SUD, as it would establish laws directly applicable to all European Union Member States, eliminating the need for national transposition. This shift underscores the critical importance of this legislation within the European agricultural landscape. As such, specific comments and recommendations regarding the SUR proposal have been developed collaboratively by the IPMWORKS consortium and the related project, IPM Decisions, which seeks to increase accessibility of decision support systems for improved decision making in crop protection.

Recommendations based on insights from both IPMWORKS and IPM Decisions projects reflect the need for support of farm demo networks which foster knowledge exchange on low-pesticide strategies for plant protection, and the need for support for the development of IPM decision support systems. The document also formulates recommendations regarding various topics addressed by the SUR proposal, including; comments on food security in Europe, monitoring indicators, targets for pesticide reduction, crop-level rules for IPM adoption, needs for research and innovation to solve specific pest problems, sensitive areas and the plan to ban any pesticide there, and how to foster markets for ‘low-pesticide’ products.

Reducing drastically pesticides in European agriculture might be possible without impairing neither food security nor the economic vitality of the agricultural sector, but this will require deep adaptations of crop protection strategies and farming systems, that have to be supported and accompanied by relevant policies
Nicolas Munier-Jolain, coordinator of IPMWORKS

This document serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and stakeholders involved in shaping the future of pesticide use in Europe. These recommendations are expected to play a crucial role in guiding discussions and decisions surrounding the proposed European Regulation for Sustainable Use of Pesticides. As Europe strives for sustainable and environmentally responsible agriculture, the insights derived from this document will shape the future of pest management practices.

To access the full policy recommendations and insights presented in the white paper, please visit the IPMWORKS Resource Toolbox here.

The IPM Resource Toolbox is a dynamic, user-friendly online library tailored specifically for farmers and advisors created as part of the IPMWORKS project with a view to increase accessibility of IPM resources. Within this comprehensive toolbox, users can access a wealth of resources covering diverse topics, including alternative agronomic practices, decision support systems, case studies, economic analysis, training guides, and links to past and ongoing IPM initiatives.

To explore the IPM Resource Toolbox, please visit

Notes to editors

Press queries should be directed to Eleanor Dearlove

To learn more about the IPMWORKS project, visit the website



IPMWORKS is a network of real farms throughout Europe, supported by the H2020 programme. On-site demonstrations are based on “success stories” of farmers implementing all components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which is at the center of the Sustainable Use Directive. IPM includes a stronger use of ecology-based processes, more diversity and more biodiversity, eventually combined with innovative technologies (robotics, precision agriculture, Decision Support Systems and biocontrol). 

Farmers within the network are working together within small groups coordinated by advisers (so-called “hub coaches”) to progress further in the adoption of holistic IPM. Quantitative data are collected to support the demonstration that “IPM indeed works”, i.e. is efficient and cost-effective, and does not undermine yield performance.

The following information should be included in any publications relating to the project:

The IPMWORKS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101000339.


IPM Decisions


The IPM Decisions project is a ‘sister’ project to IPMWORKS, and aims to increase the impact of on-farm decision support systems for IPM. IPM Decisions has created an online platform, allowing farmers and advisers to easily monitor insect pests, weeds and diseases across Europe. The platform hosts a range of Decision Support Systems (DSS) which can be adjusted for regional conditions, giving farmers and advisers indicators of current and future risk.

IPM Decisions project website:

Access the IPM Decisions platform here:

The following information should be included in any publications relating to the project:

The IPM Decisions project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 817617.