[REPOONSE] Parlement européen - Question écrite à la Commission E-003815-18 de Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL) – Milidiou incontrôlable en Espagne

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« The spread of Tecia solanivora — known as the Guatemalan potato moth or potato blight — is out of control in Spain. According to official Spanish records, the insect has also been found in the municipality of Ourense, about 40 miles from the Portuguese region of Minho. There are cases in which growers, for fear of losing their crops, avoid reporting outbreaks to the authorities.

In all, 33 Spanish municipalities have been affected, more than 400 tonnes of infested potatoes have been destroyed, and the Galician autonomous Government — the Xunta da Galicia — has already helped 1 323 farmers. The Galician authorities, however, are proving unable to control the insect, which could easily cross the border when tubers and seeds are exported. Spain has therefore sent warnings to all parts of the EU that potato plantations in Galicia are being overrun with this pest.

What has been done so far, and what steps are being taken to prevent other Member States from being contaminated, in particular Portugal, a neighbouring country to Spain? What support is available to compensate for losses, as well as ensuring that growers will not be afraid to report outbreaks to the health authorities? »

Réponse donnée par Mr Andriukaitis au nom de la Commission

« Tecia solanivora is regulated as a harmful organism with quarantine status in the EU. Therefore, action needs to be taken to eradicate or (if eradication is not possible) contain any outbreaks of this organism in the EU territory. As the presence of this organism in the territory of Spain is known, the Commission is kept updated by the Spanish Plant Protection Service about all outbreaks caused by Tecia solanivora on potatoes in Spain and on the demarcated areas where control measures are applicable. The Spanish Plant Protection Service has not confirmed any presence or suspicion of Tecia solanivora’s presence in the municipality of Ourense so far.

An EU co-financing procedure for the costs of compensation to the owners for the market value of the destroyed plants due to quarantine emergency measures is in place since 1 January 2017(1).

Under the Rural Development policy(2), Member States and regions may include in their Rural Development Programmes risk management instruments to support farmers affected by severe economic losses caused, among others, by a pest infestation: (1) financial contributions to premiums for crop, animal and plant insurance, (2) financial contribution to mutual funds to pay financial compensation to affected farmers, and (3) an income stabilisation tool, in the form of financial contributions to mutual funds, providing compensation to farmers for severe income drops.

(1) Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 laying down provisions for the management of expenditure relating to the food chain, animal health and animal welfare, and relating to plant health and plant reproductive material, amending Council Directives 98/56/EC, 2000/29/EC and 2008/90/EC, Regulations (EC) No 178/2002, (EC) No 882/2004 and (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Decisions 66/399/EEC, 76/894/EEC and 2009/470/EC, OJ L 189, 27.6.2014, p. 1‐32.

(2) Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005, OJ L 347, 20.12.2013. »

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