Full text 
Procedure : 2013/0141(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0293/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 25/10/2016 - 18
CRE 25/10/2016 - 18

Votes :

PV 26/10/2016 - 6.6
CRE 26/10/2016 - 6.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Verbatim report of proceedings
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

18. Protective measures against pests of plants (debate)
Video of the speeches

President. The next item is the debate on the recommendation for second reading from the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on protective measures against pests of plants (08795/2/2016 - C8-0364/2016 - 2013/0141(COD)) (Rapporteur: Anthea McIntyre) (A8-0293/2016).


  Anthea McIntyre, rapporteur. – Madam President, plant health is a very important issue across the whole of Europe and the agreement that we have reached on protective measures against pests of plants is a really significant achievement. I would particularly like to pay tribute to my shadows and thank them for all their work, for their positive approach and for their cooperation over many months. This regulation will strengthen our phytosanitary security and our biodiversity through a proportionate and risk-based approach that provides quicker decision-making, faster action and better collaboration between Member States.

Our problem is that pests and diseases do not respect national borders. That is why it is so important to have an EU-wide agreement. At its most basic, this regulation aims first to prevent the entry of plant pests into the EU, then to eradicate harmful organisms when they are found to be present and, finally, to contain the spread of any outbreak when the first aim fails.

So this agreement updates rules that date back to 2000, in order to provide a modern, responsive and effective regime for plant health. It provides better protection at import, against high-risk trades, it provides increased surveillance and financial support, including better prioritisation of the most harmful of organisms, it introduces stricter eradication measures, it harmonises plant passports and it gives clearer rules for protected zones.

In 2015, the value of crop output in the EU amounted to over EUR 200 billion. It is a key sector for European agriculture and it represents the livelihood of thousands of farmers. We need only look at the devastation caused by Xylella fastidiosa to see both the socioeconomic and the environmental damage which can be caused by pests. Xylella has affected thousands of acres of olive groves in southern Member States and caused severe economic losses for farmers. Another example is Chalara or Ash dieback, which has spread rapidly across continental Europe. In the UK, this fungus was first confirmed in 2012 in trees growing in nurseries or in recently established plantations. It has spread so rapidly that it is estimated that 80 million ash trees could be affected.

It is crucial to protect EU agriculture, horticulture and forestry and as a continent our defences are only as strong as the weakest link. New pests and diseases are emerging all the time as a result of globalisation, climate change and the increasing volume of imports from new parts of the world. All this increases the risk of future outbreaks of harmful organisms. So the challenge of how best to respond to these risks has led to significant political differences amongst the Member States and across Parliament.

I believe the compromise we reached represents the best agreement possible to bridge these differences. It strikes the right balance between facilitating legitimate trade, on the one hand, and protecting the EU from pests from third countries, on the other. A new article was inserted, introducing the possibility of a preliminary assessment on the basis of which high-risk plants, plant products or other objects would be prevented from entering Union territory until a full risk assessment was carried out. Presuming the safeguards for defining high risk are appropriately applied, then the scope for introducing a closed system via the back door is negligible. I really strongly recommend this agreement to Parliament.


  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I am very pleased to appear before the plenary here today with a view to successfully concluding our work on the regulation on protective measures against pests of plants, more commonly referred to as the plant health regulation.

This is a very important piece of legislation. It is the result of a great deal of hard work by Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Its outcome is, I believe, a credit to all three institutions. We all share a deep and common understanding of the fundamental importance of plant health and its link to the protection of our people’s health, agriculture, food chain and environment. Furthermore, we collectively recognise that outbreaks of plant pest will occur from time to time. This is inevitable due to the intensification of global trade as well as climate change.

The case of the outbreak of xylella fastidiosa in Italy, France and, to a small extent, in Germany, is the most recent reminder of the serious threat that pests pose for our farmers, agricultural production, environment and the livelihoods of so many producers. Another example is the pine nematode outbreak in Portugal, affecting our forestry industry. We must ensure we are best prepared to deal with future outbreaks of plant pests and also make sure that our territory remains protected from the entry of non—European pests.

The new regulation has been drafted and negotiated while taking into account all of those concerns. In this view it will introduce more protective rules for the early detection and eradication of dangerous plant pests, if found present in EU territory, and more proactive tools and actions such as the prioritisation of pest action plans for eradication. Contingency plans and simulation exercises allow the European Union to adopt a more proactive policy against the entry of pests from other countries and the import of high—risk plants and plant products; harmonise and simplify the rules concerning certification of plants and plants products, thus facilitating their production, marketing and controls; and specify the responsibilities of the producers through legislation and authorisation before they produce, market and certify the health of their plants. All those new provisions are based on the concept that we have to do more in order to suffer less from the devastating effects of some plant diseases.

I take the opportunity to recall that Member States remain responsible for import controls and surveillance in their territories to avoid the presence of those pests. Therefore more resources need to be allocated by the Member States to cope with those important tasks. Otherwise this EU law will not bring the expected benefits. In the coming years the Commission will focus its inspection programme on import control audits and will check whether European Union plant health rules are implemented in the Member States in an effective and harmonised manner. All the elements included in this new framework are well thought out and have been thoroughly discussed with all interested parties.

I therefore look forward with both hope and expectation to a broad agreement and endorsement of this file. Our work will, of course, continue with the development of dedicated and implementing acts and through the practical implementation of new rules once agreed.


  Pilar Ayuso, en nombre del Grupo PPE. – Señora Presidenta; señor Comisario; yo, ante todo, quiero dar las gracias a la ponente y a todos los ponentes alternativos y a todos los que han colaborado en este informe porque, realmente, ha sido el mejor acuerdo al que podíamos llegar.

Este Reglamento tiene un objetivo claro, que es proteger las producciones europeas de los organismos nocivos importados de otros países. Y es que la historia de la patología vegetal está llena de ejemplos de plantas portadoras sin síntomas —portadoras de enfermedades—, pero que, al ser importadas a otras latitudes, causan estragos en otras especies y en otros géneros.

Este riesgo se agrava por el mercado único, como muy bien ha dicho el Comisario, porque de un país se importa y otro cultivo sufre el daño. Como ejemplo tenemos la Xylella fastidiosa —que también usted ha mencionado—, que sigue afectando dramáticamente a Italia, Francia, y también a Alemania. Según todos los indicios, esta plaga llegó a Europa a través de una planta ornamental de café importada a través del puerto de Róterdam, en Holanda. Precisamente eso es lo que tratamos de evitar con las medidas preventivas de la lucha contra plagas importadas.

El nuevo Reglamento introduce un nuevo mecanismo para luchar contra los riesgos emergentes de epidemias desconocidas para la Unión Europea mediante aplicaciones de acciones temporales. Por todo lo expuesto, el texto que vamos a adoptar supone una mejora muy importante y yo le pido a todos los componentes del Parlamento que apoyen este texto, porque es el mejor de todos los posibles.


  Paolo De Castro, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signora Presidente, Commissario, onorevoli colleghi, la progressiva apertura dei mercati, se da una parte può generare risultati positivi dal punto di vista economico e commerciale, porta purtroppo con sé anche una inevitabile globalizzazione delle malattie e degli organismi nocivi. Malattie che mettono seriamente a repentaglio la salute delle nostre piante, ponendo seri rischi per la biodiversità e di conseguenza per la competitività del nostro settore agricolo e forestale. Voglio quindi ringraziare, anche a nome della collega Viorica Dăncilă, la relatrice Anthea McIntyre per l'ottimo lavoro svolto e l'importante risultato ottenuto.

Il testo che stiamo per approvare garantisce infatti un alto livello di protezione e di sicurezza per tutta l'Unione contro l'importazione di organismi nocivi per i prodotti vegetali. Una protezione delle nostre frontiere che si rende sempre più indispensabile, anche in considerazione delle ultime vere e proprie epidemie scoppiate in Europa, come è stato citato il caso della zylella fastidiosa, che rischia di distruggere parte inestimabile dell'inestimabile patrimonio olivicolo dell'Italia meridionale, così come le problematiche relative punteruolo rosso delle palme o al cinipide del castagno, tutte conseguenze di una importazione incontrollata di piante e organismi infetti provenienti da paesi terzi che hanno trovato terreno fertile nel nostro territorio. Non si può quindi più aspettare. Questo nuovo regolamento è quanto mai necessario al fine di stabilire un regime fitosanitario in Europa capace di prevenire e di combattere efficacemente la diffusione di organismi nocivi.


  Jan Huitema, namens de ALDE-Fractie. – Allereerst wil ik graag de rapporteur en mijn collega-schaduwrapporteurs bedanken voor het constructieve werk dat we geleverd hebben in het Europees Parlement. Ik wil echter ook graag kort uiteenzetten wat onze positie als ALDE-Fractie is, want handel brengt welvaart maar staat op alle mogelijke manieren onder druk. Het debat wordt met een hoop retoriek gevoerd, waarbij niet goed naar de inhoud wordt gekeken.

Sinds de jaren '70 beoordelen wij de invoer van planten uit derde landen op de eventuele risico's die daarmee gepaard gaan. Dat noemen we een open importsysteem. Hiermee vinden we een gezonde balans tussen de bescherming tegen plantziekten en het beschermen van onze belangrijke handelsbelangen. Al in mei 2013 wilde de Europese Commissie zwakheden binnen het huidige systeem aanpakken zonder het open importsysteem in gevaar te brengen. Het Europees Parlement wilde in april 2014 hetzelfde.

Door de uitkomst van de onderhandelingen nu is dit echter in gevaar: aangescherpte regels en vaag geformuleerde criteria bieden de mogelijkheid om de invoer van planten en plantaardige producten uit derde landen te verbieden, zonder daarbij de risico's voldoende te beoordelen. Met andere woorden: het kan dat we worden overgeleverd aan de willekeur van lidstaten die om politieke redenen import blokkeren.

Dit vind ik onacceptabel! Daarom heb ik namens de liberalen in het Europees Parlement een amendement ingediend om deze overeenkomst niet te steunen. Handelaren in invoerhavens zoals Schiphol en Antwerpen zullen bovendien te maken krijgen met administratieve rompslomp en hogere kosten. Dichte grenzen zullen plantenziekten in de EU helaas niet volledig buiten de deur houden, noch worden ze hiermee voorkomen.


  Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. – Senhora Presidente, a globalização do comércio e as alterações climáticas estão fazendo com que novas pragas e doenças apareçam nos vegetais. A Xylella fastidiosa foi apenas um exemplo do que está a acontecer. É fundamental um controlo rigoroso e o seguimento do material vegetal que entra na União Europeia e, por isso, apoiamos este texto. Mas precisamos também de mecanismos para detetar a presença e o desenvolvimento de pragas de espécies invasoras que entram na União Europeia com as importações de outros produtos agrícolas, como aconteceu com a Vespa velutina.

É por isso que pedimos uma estratégia europeia na qual se conte com as agricultoras e os agricultores para deteção precoce, acompanhamento e investigação, e para estabelecer as ações necessárias para prevenir, erradicar e impedir que pragas de espécies invasoras se estendam. Ao mesmo tempo, pensamos que é necessário definir protocolos de atuação na luta contra as pragas e as espécies invasoras que protejam a saúde, o meio ambiente e as águas.


  Florent Marcellesi, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. – Señora Presidenta, la propagación de la bacteria Xylella fastidiosa está destruyendo los olivos milenarios en Apulia y ahora se ha propagado a Córcega y Alemania. Como bien saben, es una de las plagas vegetales más destructivas que han llegado a Europa desde fuera de nuestras fronteras, pero no es la única.

Era necesario actualizar el Reglamento que previene la entrada de plagas y, por eso, saludamos esta propuesta en la que hemos trabajado, sobre todo mi compañero Jordi Sebastià, al que sustituyo, para que fuera lo más segura posible. Aun así, pedimos a la Comisión que no tarde una década en redactar los actos de ejecución del nuevo Reglamento para eximir las semillas de bajo riesgo, el intercambio de semillas entre agricultores y la conservación de la biodiversidad genética.

Las consecuencias de plagas como la mancha negra o el chancro de los cítricos son incalculables y nos preocupa muchísimo que últimamente la Comisión intente, a través de un acto de ejecución, modificar la Directiva 2000/29/CE, para limitar los controles de los cítricos que provengan de terceros países, lo que dejaría a nuestros productores indefensos.

Pido, pues, que se respete la intención del Reglamento que vamos a votar en esta sesión y que la Comisión no busque subterfugios para limitar los controles a la importación de cítricos. No olviden que debemos trabajar para proteger a nuestros productores. Eso es lo que ellos esperan de una Unión Europea para que esta vez no les falle.


  John Stuart Agnew, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, we are talking here about an EU-wide attempt to control pests of plants. Failure to control threats to plants and imported produce is well documented. WTO rules allow countries to ban imports on this basis. Member States have different priorities when it comes to deciding on invasive species control. Northern Finland and Cyprus are unlikely to sing from the same song sheet in this respect; the EU will, however, expect them to do so.

Controlling pests requires pesticides. The EU institutions are doing their best to reduce the active ingredients that may be used. The latest victim are the endocrine disruptors, and their demise will reduce the number of materials available from 400 to a little over 300, creating more pressure on those that remain to succumb to increasing resistance from the target pest. Whilst the green lobby might be happy with the situation, they have yet to demonstrate that endocrine disruptors are a proven hazard when used correctly. I have personally handled these products for very many years and, to the great disappointment the green lobby, I am still here.


  Philippe Loiseau, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, l'Union européenne est aujourd'hui une passoire ouverte aux quatre vents. Dans cette zone ouverte, comment pourrait-on surveiller si des organismes se glissent dans les produits d'importation? Ce refus dogmatique de contrôler a en fait permis l'entrée d'organismes nuisibles aux végétaux.

Par le passé déjà, la mineuse de la tomate, ensuite le moucheron asiatique et, plus récemment, la Xylella fastidiosa ont pu coloniser nos territoires. Nous continuons pourtant à importer des produits originaires de pays qui n'ont pas notre confiance, qui n'ont ni nos normes ni notre exigence, et dont la gestion est plus qu'opaque. Alors, laissez les États décider!

Le risque d'isolement et l'esprit de coopération devraient suffire, selon moi, pour que chacun mette en place une politique sanitaire intelligente et sécurisante.

Nous disons «oui» à des contrôles accrus, à l'obligation de traçabilité que nous ne cessons de demander, à l'établissement d'une liste de pays potentiellement à risque, ainsi qu'à toutes ces mesures de précaution, surtout si elles sont décidées par les États souverains dans un esprit de coopération. Par contre, nous refusons que la Commission statue en distribuant les bons points et les punitions aux États ou aux régions.

Hélas, comme souvent avec l'UERSS, on s'attend au pire. On s'attend, en fait, à ce que les États soient escamotés au moment du débat, dépossédés de leur souveraineté au profit, bien sûr, de la Commission. C'est elle, la Commission, qui décrète le problème et décide de la solution. Dans le cas de la Xylella fastidiosa, elle a imposé l'arrachage des arbres malades à la région des Pouilles, à leurs voisins et aux voisins de leurs voisins. Cela n'en finit plus.

Bienvenue dans le meilleur des mondes où la Commission européenne non élue – je précise – est l'alpha et l'oméga de la politique de la santé.

Avec la Commission, c'est en fait toujours pareil: certains espèrent le meilleur, d'autres se préparent au pire.


  Albert Deß (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin Mairead McGuinnes, Herr Kommissar Vytenis Andriukaitis, sehr verehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Nach vielen Sitzungen und Trilog-Verhandlungen dürfen wir morgen über die europäische Gesetzgebung zur Pflanzengesundheit hier abstimmen, damit sie dann 2017 in Kraft treten kann. Ich bedanke mich bei der Berichterstatterin und allen Schattenberichterstattern und vor allem bei Kollegin Ayuso von meiner Fraktion, dass sie dieses Dossier bearbeitet hat.

Es ist uns im Agrarausschuss und im Europäischen Parlament innerhalb von zwei Jahren gelungen, eine zielgerichtete und ausgewogene Gesetzgebung zur Pflanzengesundheit auf den Weg zu bringen. Der neue Artikel 41a soll zur Bewältigung von Schädlingsrisiken durch Vorsorgemaßnahmen dienen. Es wird möglich sein, die gefährlichen Einfuhren nach einer vorläufigen Beurteilung unter Berücksichtigung bestimmter Kriterien bis zur vollständigen Risikobewertung auszusetzen.

Wichtig war die Anforderung, dass professionelle Betreiber, die Pflanzen und Pflanzenerzeugnisse importieren, sowie Kunden von Postdiensten, Internetkunden und Fahrgäste, die riskante Pflanzen in ihrem Gepäck importieren, ein Zertifikat benötigen.

Wir haben durch die delegierten Rechtsakte die Möglichkeit, Herr Kommissar, weiter mitzuwirken. Ich darf Sie bitten, dass Sie dafür sorgen, dass dieser Vorschlag – wo ich davon ausgehe, dass er morgen mit großer Mehrheit hier verabschiedet wird – auch unbürokratisch umgesetzt wird.

Wir müssen vor allem auch darauf achten, dass für nicht professionelle Endverbraucher wie Hausgärtner nicht so strenge Kriterien angelegt werden, damit auch sie ihre Pflanzen in Zukunft beziehen können.


  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D). – Señora Presidenta, yo quisiera sumarme a la felicitación de nuestra ponente, la señora McIntyre, y a la de todos los ponentes alternativos, en concreto mi compañera, la señora Dăncilă, que ha estado colaborando para llevar a cabo este buen acuerdo, el mejor acuerdo posible.

A mí me hubiese gustado poder llegar a una lista positiva en materia vegetal, pero entiendo que era necesario un acuerdo global para todos los países de la Unión Europea y, por tanto, este es mi acuerdo y este es un gran acuerdo.

Ahora los controles tienen que llevarlos a cabo los Estados miembros. Para ello son necesarios medios. Ahí no coincido con el señor Huitema, que dice que esto nos va a costar dinero; claro que cuesta dinero, pero es para la protección de los vegetales de la Unión Europea. Por tanto, espero que los Estados miembros atiendan a este nuevo Reglamento.

Y decirle una cosa, señor Comisario: no vayamos a modificar, vía anexos, algunos criterios que ahora se mejoran con este Reglamento. Lo digo por la modificación prevista en la Directiva 2000/29/CE en el caso de las naranjas para zumo. No vayamos a cambiar las reglas del juego.


  Rosa D'Amato (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi abbiamo nuove regole per frenare l'afflusso di parassiti come la xylella, forse anch'essa derivante da un aumento degli scambi commerciali e dal cambiamento climatico. Questo regolamento è passato, è un passo avanti per la tutela dell'agricoltura, delle sue tradizioni e dell'ambiente. Ciò grazie a misure preventive definite, a regimi d'importazione più stretti, a compensazioni proporzionali al reale valore delle piante distrutte e a condizioni restrittive per la salvaguardia dell'ambiente.

Ma l'emergenza xylella ha mostrato le contraddizioni della Commissione: da un lato le misure scellerate imposte all'Italia, prive di solide evidenze scientifiche, e dall'altro la risposta a una mia interrogazione del Commissario Vella, la quale chiarisce che, seppur imposto da Bruxelles, il piano fitosanitario dell'Italia doveva obbligatoriamente prevedere una valutazione ambientale strategica. Tutto questo non è mai stato fatto in Puglia, dimostrando che l'Italia non ha saputo difendere il proprio territorio e la Commissione non è stata garante delle sue direttive. Ringrazio la Commissione per la risposta e come la Francia, che non intende abbattere gli ulivi a Mentone, confermando così l'impraticabilità della decisione europea, andiamo avanti più forti nella difesa dei nostri ulivi.


  Michel Dantin (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, à mon tour, je voudrais remercier l'équipe de négociation qui, autour de Mme McIntyre, a fait preuve de beaucoup de patience parce qu'il y a bien longtemps que nous avons engagé la négociation de ce texte.

Ce texte me paraît nécessaire parce que l'opinion publique et nous-mêmes souhaitons moins d'utilisation de pesticides pour protéger nos cultures. La meilleure manière de protéger les cultures, c'est de ne pas les exposer à l'infection primaire. Or, pour qu'il n'y ait pas d'infection primaire, il faut que nous ayons des contrôles qui soient plus actifs dans les différentes circulations.

Cher collègue Huitema – mais vous êtes déjà parti –, je préfère en effet avoir des contrôles efficaces à l'aéroport d'Anvers plutôt que des agriculteurs qui restent les bras ballants devant des cultures infectées, incapables de les traiter parce que nous n'aurons pas de produit pour le faire et parce que la recherche ne va pas assez vite. On le voit bien avec Xylella. Le temps de la recherche n'est malheureusement pas le temps de l'infection, il est beaucoup plus long. Nous avons besoin de multiplier la recherche pour trouver des solutions, mais la mondialisation des échanges facilite l'infection. Plusieurs cas ont déjà été cités. On pourrait citer bien d'autres exemples, notamment les mouches sur les cerisiers et le problème du frelon asiatique qui véhicule également un certain nombre de maladies.

Par conséquent, nous aurons, me semble-t-il, une législation efficace, à partir de demain. Il faut la voter telle qu'elle a été négociée.


  Maria Noichl (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich möchte mich an erster Stelle bei Frau McIntyre bedanken, die wirklich mit einer sehr guten Arbeit in Vorleistung gegangen ist, und ich hoffe, dass in der Kommission Herr Andriukaitis diese Arbeit aufnimmt und erfolgreich umsetzt.

Hier im Hause wurde schon mehrfach betont, dass der Klimawandel, die Globalisierung und natürlich auch die aktiven Reisetätigkeiten der Menschen eine ungewollte Folge mit sich gebrachthaben: eingeschleppte Pflanzenschädlinge aus Drittstaaten sind an vielen Stellen Europas zu erkennen. Es geht um gebietsfremde Pflanzenschädlinge, um Pflanzenschädlinge, die hier keine natürlichen Feinde haben. Es geht um Pflanzen, die keine Abwehrmechanismen haben, um diesen Schädlingen zu begegnen.

Wir haben ein klares Ziel, und ich glaube, das Ziel ist im Agrarausschuss eindeutig: Wir wollen ein Gleichgewicht in der Natur, wir wollen Naturgesundheit haben. Das bedeutet, dass wir an allen Ecken handeln müssen. Wir – die EU, das Parlament und die Kommission –machen morgen den Rechtsrahmen. Die Mitgliedstaaten sind verantwortlich, dass die Einfuhrkontrollen dann auch wirklich funktionieren.

Die Forst- und die Landwirtschaft fordern wir zu Mitarbeit auf. Privatpersonen müssen wir wirklich auch hier aus diesem Hause heraus um Verständnis bitten, wenn es manchmal zu Fällungen kommt– auch im privaten Bereich– zum Beispiel zum Fällen von Bäumen.

Pflanzengesundheit geht uns alle an. Hier dürfen wir keine Grenzen setzen.


Catch-the-eye procedure


  Giovanni La Via (PPE). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, il voto di domani rappresenta un grande risultato per l'Europa, in quanto il rischio d'invasione di patogeni provenienti dai paesi terzi è sempre più alto. Negli ultimi anni abbiamo assistito alla distruzione di parte del nostro patrimonio produttivo ornamentale a causa di controlli poco rigidi e del mancato blocco delle importazioni, talvolta, quando necessario. Penso, ad esempio, a quanto successo con la xylella fastidiosa, a quanto successo col punteruolo rosso delle palme, a quanto rischia di succedere col citrus black spot sugli agrumi.

È arrivato il momento di cambiare marcia e sono certo che solo attraverso un'analisi più seria del materiale vegetale in ingresso nell'Unione europea possiamo evitare altri casi di invasione. Il nuovo passaporto delle piante, nuovo strumento del regolamento, garantirà che il materiale vegetale in ingresso nell'Unione europea sia esente da patogeni e quindi consentirà di ridurre notevolmente il rischio di importare organismi nocivi da paesi terzi, organismi che, vale la pena ricordare, rappresentano una vera minaccia per il nostro processo produttivo e comportano danni per i consumatori e per i produttori europei.


  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il nuovo regolamento rappresenta un importante passo in avanti nel contrasto agli organismi nocivi per le piante e quindi a tutela della biodiversità. La definizione degli organismi nocivi più pericolosi, detti da quarantena, la migliore suddivisione tra organismi nocivi prioritari, soggetti cioè a regole più severe in materia di eradicazione e di informazione al pubblico, e l'obbligo di registrazione per gli operatori professionali permetterà di garantire controlli più efficaci e una migliore tracciabilità.

Con questo regolamento, dunque, le attività connesse al commercio sia interno all'Unione, sia con i paesi terzi, vengono adeguate con una valutazione basata sul rischio. Trattasi, dunque, di regole idonee a frenare il crescente afflusso verso l'Unione europea degli organismi nocivi per le piante, così come ad esempio la xylella fastidiosa o il cinipide per il castagno. Va assolutamente favorita, infine, una sufficiente interconnessione, al momento non prevista, tra il regolamento in questione e le norme internazionali derivanti dagli accordi della Convenzione internazionale per la protezione delle piante.


  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η υγεία των φυτών αποτελεί βασικό παράγοντα για τη βιώσιμη και ανταγωνιστική γεωργία, τη δασοκομία και, γενικότερα, για τη βιοποικιλότητα των κρατών μελών της Ένωσης. Το ισχύον κανονιστικό πλαίσιο της Ένωσης για την υγεία των φυτών έχει ως στόχο την πρόληψη της εισόδου και της διασποράς επιβλαβών οργανισμών, οι οποίοι μπορεί να καταστρέψουν την ευρωπαϊκή γεωργία και δασοκομία. Πλην όμως, μέχρι σήμερα, δεν έχουμε δει τα επιθυμητά αποτελέσματα αυτής της πολιτικής. Ο μεγάλος όγκος εισαγωγών φυτικών ειδών από άλλες ηπείρους συνεπάγεται υψηλή πιθανότητα δημιουργίας εστιών επιβλαβών οργανισμών, ενώ η κλιματική αλλαγή επιτρέπει στους οργανισμούς αυτούς να επιβιώσουν στην Ευρώπη και καθιστά τις καλλιέργειες και τα οικοσυστήματα πιο ευάλωτα σε νέους επιβλαβείς οργανισμούς. Κλασικό παράδειγμα η Xylella, που κατέστρεψε χιλιάδες ελαιόδεντρα στην Ελλάδα και στην Ιταλία. Είναι επομένως αναγκαίο η Ένωση να λάβει μέτρα ώστε να τηρούνται οι ειδικοί περιορισμοί και οι απαιτήσεις κατά την εισαγωγή και διακίνηση φυτικών προϊόντων.


  Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE). – Madam President, plant health is a key factor in promoting the sustainable and competitive agricultural sector. We are all aware of the importance of making the EU better protected from the possible entrance of new pests that have devastating effects, such as those we have seen recently in Italy and Spain.

However, the result of negotiations is a system where it becomes so easy for Member States to impose bans on plants and plant products based on weak preliminary assessment. I firmly believe that it will make imports more difficult, will lead to the substantial increase of costs, trade distortions, threatening the EU trade in plants worth an estimated EUR 30 billion. There must be a balance between import restrictions and the protection of trade interests, otherwise we risk putting in force legislation which can be a clear signal of protectionism.


  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, este processo de elaboração de um regulamento relativo a medidas de proteção contra as pragas dos vegetais encerra aspetos contraditórios. A prevenção e o combate das pragas é uma questão candente. Os modelos agrícolas dominantes baseados em monoculturas intensivas de cariz exportador diminui a resistência dos sistemas agrícolas às pragas e potenciam os seus efeitos devastadores, razão pela qual se impõe, antes de mais, um questionamento e abandono destes modelos, a par da rejeição de qualquer forma de privatização de recursos genéticos, nomeadamente através do patenteamento de sementes.

Pretender, a pretexto do combate às pragas, impor medidas de registo e certificação que, na prática, inviabilizam a atividade dos pequenos agricultores, a agricultura tradicional, as formas tradicionais de propagação não é aceitável. Pelo contrário, significaria comprometer, a prazo, uma resposta sustentável ao problema das pragas.

Já no que se refere à importação de material vegetal de países terceiros, aí justifica-se por inteiro o controlo fitossanitário rigoroso que elimine riscos de surtos futuros de doenças de plantas, com consequências agronómicas e ecológicas potencialmente devastadoras.


  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος ( NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η υγεία των φυτών συνιστά σημαντικό παράγοντα διατήρησης των δασών, των θαμνωδών εκτάσεων και του δημοσίου και ιδιωτικού πρασίνου και συμβάλει τόσο στην ανάπτυξη της γεωργίας, όσο και στη διατήρηση των θέσεων εργασίας που συνδέονται με αυτές τις δραστηριότητες. Πρέπει να προστατεύσουμε τους παραγωγούς μας από την εισαγωγή, κυρίως από άλλες ηπείρους, επιβλαβών οργανισμών που πλήττουν τα ευρωπαϊκά δένδρα τα οποία δεν είναι τόσο ανθεκτικά σ᾽ αυτούς. Εάν λοιπόν καταστραφούν τα δένδρα, θα καταστραφεί η γεωργία, η δασοκομία, η κηπευτική. Πρέπει λοιπόν η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να λάβει τα απαραίτητα μέτρα ούτως ώστε να υπάρξει και νομική κάλυψη αλλά και πρακτική αντιμετώπιση του φαινομένου αυτού. Για αυτόν ακριβώς τον λόγο θα στηρίξω την πρόταση υπερψηφίζοντας τον προτεινόμενο κανονισμό δεδομένου ότι καλύπτει τις προϋποθέσεις αυτές και κινείται προς τη σωστή κατεύθυνση.


(End of catch-the-eye procedure)


  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, thank you very much indeed for all your remarks. I would like to react to Florent Marcellesi, who asked about the Commission’s timelines. The Commission is aware of the acts that it has to adopt after the regulation enters into force and also all the legal deadlines to adopt those acts. The Commission services are currently working on a timeline to ensure that all those acts are adopted in a timely manner. One of those acts will be a list of priority pests, which will be a delegated act.

I agree that we should prevent the entry of high-risk plants. The Commission, indeed, will have to adopt, within two years of the adoption of the regulation, a list of plants, including fruits and vegetables, the import of which will be banned until a full risk assessment proves that they are safe. It is still too early for the Commission to indicate the content of such a list. Of course, as I said, the Member States will have the essential role in controlling borders and putting the necessary resources in place.

Honourable Members, I am grateful to Parliament for its important contribution, its hard work and its constructive approach in the development of this file. In particular, I wish to thank the rapporteurs, Mr Fajmon under the previous term, and Ms McIntyre under the current term of the European Parliament, for reaching an agreement in the political negotiation. I also thank the shadow rapporteurs of the previous and current terms of the European Parliament and the teams involved in the negotiations for all the strenuous efforts they have made. I hope that we can now take the final step in bringing this important file to a successful and satisfactory conclusion.


  Anthea McIntyre, rapporteur. – Madam President, let me thank everyone who has participated in this debate. I think we all recognise the importance of bio-security to the EU. This agreement modernises the regime, both for imports from third countries and for intra-EU movements of plants and plant products. It strengthens surveillance, eradication and containment and improves prevention at import. And it does this without needlessly burdening growers or the horticulture trade.

The strengthened surveillance elements in this agreement are particularly important. Currently, co-financing is limited to costs for eradication and containment but not surveillance. The new regime introduces annual surveys to check for the presence of pests and also the listing of a new category of union quarantine pests. For trade, the delegation of responsibilities to private operators to issue plant passports has been a major step forward. The new rules aim to restore trust in the system by harmonising the format for passport information and extending the scope to cover all plants for planting except for certain seeds.

This agreement has undergone years of negotiations. We adopted a first reading position in April 2014 and, thanks to the tireless work of the shadows, over seven trilogues, we finally reached agreement just before Christmas. The agreement we reached strikes the right balance: protecting trade while allowing us to respond to threats in a coordinated and effective way across the EU. It is crucial to protect European agriculture and forestry from pests and diseases, and it is essential to put in place this legislative framework with its new stronger provisions without further delay.


President. The debate is closed.


  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE), napisan. – Štetnici na bilju ne poznaju granice. Poznato je da su mnogobrojne šume kestena u Europi zaražene, poznata je katastrofa stabala maslina na jugu Italije i poznato je djelovanje štetnika na mnogim uvoznim biljkama. Nedovoljno kontrolirani uvoz zaraženih biljaka štetnicima koji u Europi nemaju prirodnog neprijatelja velika je opasnost za našu bioraznolikost. Podržavam mjere koje će uvesti više kontrole i više obaveza za uvoznike u pogledu jače fitosanitarne sigurnosti.

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