Procedure : 2015/2652(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000038/2015

Texts tabled :

O-000038/2015 (B8-0117/2015)

Debates :

PV 30/04/2015 - 5
CRE 30/04/2015 - 5

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
PDF 188kWORD 26k
15 April 2015
Question for oral answer O-000038/2015
to the Commission
Rule 128
Czesław Adam Siekierski, on behalf of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

 Subject: Xylella fastidiosa emergency
 Answer in plenary 

The phytosanitary emergency affecting olive groves in Southern Europe, especially in the Apulia region of Southern Italy, potentially threatening other crops and regions, has assumed serious unprecedented proportions, with dramatic economic, environmental and social consequences. Among the causes that led to the current situation, the outbreak of the quarantine pathogen Xylella fastidiosa is considered to be the most serious. Unfortunately, this is not the first pathogen imported into the EU (the pacua subspecies of Xylella arrived in Europe via imported ornamental plants) and it is destroying local crops with huge economic and environmental consequences. Other pathogens, such as the so-called ‘black spot’ found in citrus imports from South Africa, also represent a significant risk to EU production.

The eradication method imposed by the Commission so as to stop the spread of the infection should be proportionate, in order to promote good agronomic management and plant health, including in selecting the most appropriate vector control. A balanced, biodiverse agro-ecosystem that is more resilient to invading pests is one means of preventing susceptibility to and spread of disease in plants. Moreover, as confirmed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), a thorough review of the existing scientific literature yielded no indication that destruction of trees is a successful solution once the disease is established in an area, even in relation to the state of infection of other species. What is more, this measure does not take into account the great age of some of the plants in specific areas and the huge costs of removal. As the EFSA has underlined, owing to the difficulty in stopping the spread of Xylella once a production area is affected, preventive actions focused on imports should be prioritised. The EU must take all necessary measures to counter the spread of the disease. What research and analysis is the Commission pursuing in order to find a definitive solution to the problem and avert the possible spread to other EU regions?

Considering the huge losses to date experienced by growers, how will the Commission compensate the additional costs borne by growers if tree destruction is used as a measure to eradicate the disease?

This again shows the need to carry out phytosanitary checks on imports into the EU in order to prevent entry of material infected by Xylella or other dangerous organisms such as ‘black spot’.

Thus, is the Commission ready to take the necessary actions to prevent the import of infected material into the EU by reinforcing conditions for imports from third countries and, if necessary, limit imports into the EU to plants originating from pest-free production sites which have been surveyed and checked?

Legal notice - Privacy policy