top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Local anti-pesticide laws not allowed in France

The Conseil d’Etat has said mayors do not have the authority to ban the use of the chemicals in their communes

The Conseil d’Etat has said the power to ban or allow pesticides to be used in France rests with the State, rather than with local mayors. 

Judges noted that police specialised in pesticides had the power - “confined to State authorities” - to limit pesticide usage, meaning that mayors do not have the right to make rules or ban general usage of pesticides in their communes.

The ruling, made public on December 31, 2020, came in response to an appeal from authorities in the commune of Arceuil, near Paris, against the suspension of a law from September 2019 allowing more local powers against pesticides.

Communes united against ruling 

Many other communes have tried to introduce local laws about pesticide use. In 2019, the mayor of Langouët, in Brittany, made it illegal to use pesticides “within 150 metres of any land parcels containing a building used for habitation or professional reasons”.

The law was swiftly overturned by the State, with the judge noting “The ministry for agriculture is in charge of the administrative police for pesticides. The mayor of a commune can, in no case, involve themselves in the work of this special police force via local regulations.” 

Tens of other communes have since tried to implement similar laws, with support from NGOs and ecological politicians.

 

NGOs and mayors disappointed

Mayors and NGO leaders have expressed their disappointment in response to the new ruling.

Florence Pression, deputy mayor of Sceaux, near Paris, and member of the Mayors against pesticides collective (Collectif des maires anti-pesticides) told news source Le Dauphiné: “This is a very negative ruling, but will not give up. We have not yet done all we can to stop it.” 

Communes in the collective, and 40 others who are affected, have since lodged procedures questioning whether the ruling is constitutional. Many of the procedures cite the right to health as a main reason.

The collective also intends to take the case to the European Commission, hoping it will take action against France for “lack of protection for inhabitants”. 

Related stories

French firm SNCF to use more natural glyphosate alternative

Working horses replace tractors for island preservation work

France approves three-year use of controversial pesticide

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2022 (for 2021 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now