[REPONSE] Parlement européen, Question E-002247/2020 avec demande de réponse écrite de la Commission de Maria Spyraki du 14 avril 2020, Combattre la bactérie phytopathogène Xylella fastidiosa

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« According to a recent study, the entire production of olive oil, the main agricultural product of the Mediterranean, is being jeopardised by the reappearance of the phytopathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which becomes established and multiplies in the wood of olive trees, clogging their vessels, compromising their ability to transport water and nutrients and leading to sickly growth and eventually necrosis. The bacterium is spread through the introduction of already infected plants or through insects carrying the disease. This is a particularly dangerous epidemic with very serious economic and environmental consequences, which in Greece may result in economic losses of EUR 2 billion. Nearly 1 million olive trees have already been destroyed in neighbouring Italy, resulting in losses estimated at EUR 5 billion.

Given the above and taking into account the fact that the destructive spread of the bacterium can be prevented by taking the necessary measures, will the Commission say:

1. What measures does it intend to take to prevent the spread of this pathogenic bacterium?

2. Does it plan to impose additional restrictions on imports and exports of olive trees in order to prevent the spread of the bacterium through infected trees?

3. Are any plans afoot to create special information programmes to help oil producers tackle the disease and to provide them with subsidies for the purchase of special drugs? »

Réponse donnée par Ms Kyriakideson au nom de la Commission européenne le 25 juin 2020 :

« EU emergency measures (1) are in place to eradicate or, where this is not possible, contain the pest from current outbreak areas (2) with the aim to prevent further spread into the Union territory. Those measures also include movement and import restrictions for specified plants, including olive trees, the organisation of annual official survey campaigns in Member States, as well as an awareness campaign towards the general public, travellers and transport operators concerning the threat posed by the pest.

Since the adoption of those measures, only a very limited number of interceptions have been detected in trade. Nevertheless, following the latest scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority published in May 2019(3), the Commission, together with Member States, is proceeding to update current measures to ensure a more targeted approach of EU measures based on latest scientific and technical information. The adoption of new measures is foreseen soon.

EU grants are available to Member States for the implementation of monitoring programmes at national level and EU emergency measures for demarcated areas under the co-financing Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 (4). Within the same legal framework, EU funds are also available for compensating operators for the value of the destroyed plant material. In addition, rural development5 may provide support to farmers for the restoration of the agricultural production potential damaged, inter alia, by the pest.

Lastly, two EU funded research projects XF-Actors (6) and PonTE (7) (finished 31 October 2019) have been financed with around EUR 10 million under Horizon 2020 to improve the knowledge on the biology of the pest and to develop tools to prevent, detect and control the effects of this pest. »

(1 )Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/789 of 18 May 2015 as regards measures to prevent the introduction into and the spread within the Union of Xylella fastidiosa, OJ L 125, 21.5.2015, p. 36‐53

(2) ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/plant/docs/ph_biosec_legis_list-demarcated-union-territory_en.pdf

(3) EFSA Journal 2019;17(5):5665, 200 pp. doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5665

(4) 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

(5) 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, p. 487–548

(6) cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/206027/factsheet/en

(7) POnTE project main findings and achievements: www.ponteproject.eu/factsheets-project/ponte-project-findings-and-achievements-main-findings-and-results-2/

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