Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have informally agreed on new rules to curb the influx of pests in the European Union (EU) as part of legislative reform on plant health.
A package of measures include new regulations on how to stop the spread of plant diseases such as Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium devastating some olive orchards in Italy’s key growing regions and with outbreaks on the French island of Corsica.
“Plant health is an important issue for the whole of Europe,” says rapporteur Anthea McIntyre, who headed Parliament’s negotiating team.
“I am very pleased that Parliament, together with member states, has agreed measures to protect our countries from the ravages of pests and diseases which can potentially destroy whole species of trees, plants and plant products.”
The provisional deal also introduced preventive measures for imported plants and fast-response mechanisms for high-risk ones.
Plants and plant products from third countries will be assessed to quickly identify those likely to pose a pest risk or other phytosanitary hazard, and to impose temporary bans to stop them entering EU territory.