10 Dec 2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 10 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
Plant health: Commission and Member States present list which paves the way for more plant safety across the EU
Today, Member States backed the Commission’s proposal for a set of measures that enhance the level of plant protection in the EU. At a Committee meeting in Brussels, experts from all EU countries approved a high-risk plants list, which includes 39 high-risk plants (35 plants for planting, 1 fruit, 1 vegetable and 1 wood). The purpose of the list is to ensure that their introduction in the EU will be provisionally prohibited until a full risk assessment is completed. The list also enlarges the current scope of regulated plant material that needs to be accompanied by a specific phytosanitary certificate when imported. This will take effect from 14 December onwards. The certification requirement doesn’t apply to bananas, pineapples, coconuts, durians and dates as they do not represent a risk for the European agricultural production. In addition, the Member States approved a decision that will require a detailed view on the information and risk assessment procedures to be followed on the high risk material before getting possible access to the EU market. On top of that, an update of the current import requirements in particular for fruits was agreed. Finally, with a view to further boost phytosanitary safety across the continent, a harmonised minimum level for import inspections of newly regulated plant material will be introduced, from December 2019 onwards. Welcoming the vote, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, said : “A swift implementation of the Plant Health Regulation is of the utmost importance since it will not only reinforce our domestic fight against pests which can have major impact on the economy, but also strengthen the controls at the EU’s border. To make it work, I call on Member States to step up the reinforcement and thepreparation of the necessary resources, notably in terms of personnel, to deal with this fight.” As a next step, the Commission will adopt the different regulatory actions which set the legal basis for all the measures, in the course of January 2019. For more information see here.
Report on EU-Egypt relations: Investing in socio-economic development and inclusive growth
The EU and Egypt undertook closer cooperation according to the conclusions drawn by the report released today on the partnership between the EU and Egypt for the period from June 2017 to May 2018. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Egypt, its stability and development are key to the European Union, its Member States and the entire region. That is why we signed our partnership priorities last year and reinforced our already strong engagement with and for the Egyptian people. We are determined to continue our work, together, to address all the challenges we have to face, for the sake of our citizens.”Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn added: “In the last year we stepped up our action to support Egypt reforming its economy, working for a sustainable and inclusive growth. For the EU it is imperative that the young generation, women and the most vulnerable members of the society are included in this process. The EU will continue to support Egypt tacking socio-economic challenges and will keep working together for the stability and prosperity of the region.” The report highlights that the implementation of the priority areas defined in the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities is well on track, with notable challenges remaining in particular in the field of the rule of law, human rights, fundamental freedoms and space for civil society. The full press release and the report are available online.