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Parliamentary questions
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4 November 2019
E-003596/2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Franc Bogovič, Milan Brglez, Ljudmila Novak
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Spread of Xylella fastidiosa in EU olive grove areas

Xylella fastidiosa bacteria were first detected in Europe in 2013 when more than 230 000 hectares of olive trees in Puglia, Italy, began to die off. The financial consequences have been devastating: according to estimates, in six years there has been a 60 % decline in crop yields and EUR 1.2 billion of damage. Recently, this deadly disease has also been discovered in France, Germany, and Spain. The latter is the world’s leading olive producer, with approximately 2.7 million hectares of olive trees, 55 % of its cultivated area. Even though its production figures are lower in comparison to other EU countries on the Mediterranean, Slovenia is also an important olive oil producer, especially of high-quality olive oil.

There is still no known cure for this bacteria which is deadly to olive trees, and the disease poses a risk to plants and crops throughout Europe. Climate change is expected to create conditions that are especially favourable for the development and spread of the bacteria.

In order to prevent potentially devastating losses, which could considerably harm the economies of countries affected, is the Commission planning any programmes to support projects related to research, or preventive and containment measures, perhaps in the framework of measures following Horizon 2020?

Original language of question: SL
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