Court of Auditors Special Report 2020 No.15: Protection of wild pollinators in the EU — Commission initiatives have not borne fruit

1. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has published a special report which examines the EU Commission’s approach to protect wild pollinators. The ECA have provided three recommendations for the European Commission to consider. The ECA did not obtain any evidence from the UK for this review, as it had already commenced the Article 50 process. The UK, as a third country, will not be subject to the recommendations proposed by the ECA to the Commission, nor any resulting action towards the recommendations, after the transition period.

2. The ECA conclude that there are gaps in biodiversity and agricultural EU policies, including the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), to address the main threats to pollinators. The ECA considers that insufficient measures were taken in the CAP and pesticide legislation to protect pollinators and that enforcement of applying Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the EU has been weak. Under the Plant Protection Products Regulations, Member States have been able to seek emergency authorisation for unauthorised pesticides including neonicotinoids.

3. The ECA also concludes that the EU Pollinators Initiative of 2018 lacks sufficient governance and control mechanisms to address the main threats to pollinators. The main criticism being that the initiative does not have targets or defined criteria against which objectives can be measured.

Topic  EU Audits 
Department  DEFRA 
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Associated file(s)


  1. ECoA Annual Report - 2 MB - pdf
  2. EM CoA Report - 132 KB - pdf

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