The directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and the EU Council for a framework for community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides ("Sustainable Use Directive" - SUD) requests the Member States of the European Union to introduce National Action Plans while setting quantitative objectives, measures and timelines to reduce risks for human health and environment (Article 4 of the Sustainable Use Directive). The Member States have to submit their respective National Action Plans to the EU Commission and the other Member States of the EU by end of 2012.
The EU's Sixth Environmental Action Programme of 2002 until 2012 forms the basis for the sustainable use directive.
One particular thematic strategy of the Sixth Environmental Action Programme calls the Member States as follows: "The usage of plant protection products (ppp.) must be reduced further. They must be used sustainably to minimize impacts on humans and the environment."
This gave rise to the policy mandate to develop the framework directive on plant protection.
The European Parliament adopted the EU Commission’s proposal of a framework directive on plant protection on January 13, 2009. It forms part of the so-called plant protection package, which also includes the two regulations on the placing of plant protection products on the market (replacing the directive 91/414/EC) and on the statistics regarding sales and usage of plant protection products.
The EU Council of Agricultural Ministers adopted the regulation on the placing of plant protection products on the market and the sustainable use directive on September 24, 2009. Such regulations became effective upon their publication in the Official Journal of the EU on November 26, 2009. The time-limit for the implementation of the directive into the national law of the Member States then began to run.
Once the National Action Plans become effective in 2012, the Member States will report regularly to the European commission on the progress and the amendments of their respective National Action Plan. The EU commission creates an Internet portal to report on the developments and results regarding the National Action Plans of the Member States.