The new project INSIGNIA-EU got underway today with the virtual Kick Off Meeting, which was attended by members of the consortium, representatives of the European Commission Directorate Generals for the Environment and Health and Food Safety, members of the European Parliament, and representatives of several EU agencies including the European Food Safety Authority. Hosted by Vujadin Kovacevic of DG Environment, the meeting was introduced by Martin Hojsik MEP, of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety who outlined the support of the Parliament for this wide ranging environmental study.
Presentations were made by members of the INSIGNIA-EU Consortium outlining the work programmes of the eight Work Packages which will be carried out during the 30 month €4M budget project. Particular emphasis was placed on the “pilot study” works to be carried out in Austria, Denmark and Greece in 2022, which will trial the new techniques needed to sample and analyse pollutants relevant to bees that were not studied during the original INSIGNIA Project. These will include: air pollutants including fine dust / particulate matter, with analysis for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds; heavy metals; and microplastics. In 2023, a full sampling programme will take place in all 27 EU Member States. All of those present agreed that the meeting was a very useful and constructive start to the project, and will be followed up by further meetings to discuss technical details of the project.