European Nurserystock Association voices xylella concern

The European Nurserystock Association is to ask the European Commission for more funding to faster eradicate Xylella fastidiosa.

ENA delegates
ENA delegates

The "greatest concern" of ENA members was the spread of the bacterium Xylella f. Members agreed that ENA will write to the European Commission to support the eradication measures they have put in place to avoid the spread of the Xylella in the EU, that must be implemented thoroughly and efficiently.

At the same time ENA will remind them that the EU principle of free movement of goods must be guaranteed for all plants complying with the EU Plant Health legislation.

It was also concluded that the Pest Risk Analysis on Xylella fastidiosa adopted by EFSA on December 2014 should be updated because the situation has considerably evolved since then, and it should include the current knowledge, experience and a thorough study of the climatic risk of the spread of the bacterium.

Finally, it was also highlighted that the EC should increase the funding to member states to allow faster eradication rates, better and quicker compensation for owners as the best way to speed up eradication and higher rate of controls, including those to plants received from other EU countries, to ensure that Plant Passporting is correct.

UK representative David Brown said there was concern that Italy was not acting in eradicating xylella, particularly on olive groves where eradication is costly, as quickly as everyone wanted possibly because compensation is not available. The disease is yet to reach the UK but will be discussed at an HTA ornamentals committee meeting this week.

French territory Corsica has implemented a blanket ban on plant imports from some regions of Spain and as ENA's policy is to only act on scientific evidence ENA is asking the French authorities how it is justifying the ban.

Meanwhile, the ENA General Assembly expressed its satisfaction for the decision of most of the European Parliament Committees involved in discussing rules for European Conformity marked fertilising products to amend the biodegradability criteria for coating agents. These modifications should allow European growers to keep using Controlled Release Fertilisers, and it was agreed on to ask the Council and the Commission to meet the same criteria.

On Invasive Alien Species, after analysing the recent proposal of the second update of the list of Invasive Alien Species of European Concern, recently approved by the IAS Committee of the European Commission, the delegates showed their concern at the lack of economic and social impact analysis and of transparency of the whole process. ENA president Tim Edwards pointed out that "the economic impact of the decisions on IAS should be taken into consideration as demanded in the Regulation itself".

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