On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal vote, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final package on plant health.
The Council and European Parliament representatives finalised the overall compromise during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.
Tackling plant diseases
The proposal on protective measures against pests of plants aims to address increased risks in that area, which stem from the emergence of new pests and diseases. It will also modernise instruments related to intra-EU trade or trade with third countries focusing on a risk-based approach. Better surveillance and early eradication of outbreaks of new pests are the tools which should be used to ensure plant health.
Together with the regulation on animal health (which should be adopted soon) and the proposal on official controls (currently under examination in the Council), the draft regulation on plant health aims to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain.
The next steps
The European Parliament is expected to vote on the compromise text at a meeting of its Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in late February.
The Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development will send a letter to the Chairman of Coreper. The letter will indicate that if the Council adopts at first reading the compromise text as adopted by the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (after legal-linguistic revision), the Parliament plenary will adopt the same text at its second reading, without any amendment, and the legislative procedure will be concluded.
This should enable the entry into force of the new plant health regulation by the end of 2016 and its application after a three-year period following the entry into force, during which the relevant pieces of secondary legislation will be adopted.