Plant health is a key factor for sustainable and competitive agriculture, horticulture and forestry.
A new EU Regulation is proposed to replace the existing Council Directive 2000/29/EC (as amended).
The existing regulatory framework is criticised for being unable to stop the increased influx of dangerous new pests into the EU caused by the globalisation of trade. In addition, climate change enables those pests to survive in Europe, while they could not in the past, and renders crops and ecosystems more vulnerable to new pests. Major outbreaks in the past decade of dangerous import-related pests affecting forestry have raised societal and political awareness of the costs and impacts of inadequate protection.
This new Plant Pests Regulation will be complementary to the new Invasive Alien Species EU Regulation foreseen under the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
The territorial scope of the new regime will include part of the Macaronesian archipelago (the island of Madeira and the Azores), which forms a biogeographic region overlapping with the Mediterranean region, in particular the Iberian peninsula, in terms of natural vegetation.
Annex I lists the territories of the Member States that are covered by the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union but, for the purpose of this Regulation, will be considered as third countries (ie outside the EU).
Invasive plants other than parasitic plants (physically feeding on host plants) will be excluded from this new Plant Pests EU Regulation – they will be covered under the proposed Invasive Alien Species EU Regulation.