3155th AGRICULTURE and FISHERIES Council meeting
Brussels, 19 and 20 March 2012
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE MEMBER STATES,
A. Recognizing the vast importance for the livelihood of mankind of global plant resources, the need to securing, in a sustainable manner, the health, diversity and volume of those resources, and the large share of production and export values that plants and plant products account for in the EU
B. Being aware of the growing threats posed to plant health by new plant pests emerging, spreading or becoming more damaging as a consequence of climate change and increasing
movements of goods and people, and concerned with the costs and negative environmental and social impacts that may result
C. Considering that international cooperation should be at the heart of the plant health policy of the EU and its Member States, aiming at facilitating the early detection and notification of
pests and at minimizing pest outbreaks, and thereby reducing possible impacts of pesticide usage
D. Recognizing the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) as the global instrument for international cooperation, harmonisation and leadership in the protection of plants and plant products against pests and in preventing their international spread, and the particular status, as recognized by the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (WTO-SPS agreement), of the IPPC as the international standard setting body in the plant health sector
E. Recognising the IPPC as providing a multilateral framework to facilitate fair trade relations and market access based on transparent, technically justified and globally agreed terms, whilst at the same time protecting plant health, and having regard to the Council Decision 2004/597/EC of 19 July 2004 approving the accession of the European Community to the
F. Appreciating the strategic objectives of the IPPC of
• protecting sustainable agriculture and enhancing global food security
• protecting the environment, forests and biodiversity
• facilitating economic and trade development and
• developing phytosanitary capacity for its members
G. Noting that the active participation of the EU and its Member States in IPPC activities and deliberations is important for the functioning and development of the IPPC, and crucial for
promoting European perspectives
H. Acknowledging the strong role of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), being the European regional plant protection organization established
in accordance with the IPPC, in supplying scientific and technical knowledge of global significance and in providing a forum for cooperation among all European contracting parties
to the IPPC
with the aim of strengthening the work and influence of the IPPC, and the transparency and impact of the EU plant health regime, a strategic line of action should be followed by the EU
and its Member States on the basis of the following principles and priorities:
IN PLANT HEALTH MATTERS, the EU and its Member States (‘EU’ henceforward) will aim at
1. continuing to base their policy, practices and international activities on the IPPC and its standards and recommendations.
CONSIDERING STANDARD SETTING AND IMPLEMENTATION as key activities to protecting plants and plant products against pests and to ensuring the safe movement of plants
and plant products in international trade, the EU will aim at:
2. continuing to share its scientific and technical knowledge and resources with the global community in the development and implementation of International Standards for
Phytosanitary Measures, focusing on the protection of plant resources and biodiversity from pests while also taking due account of the facilitation of trade. Standards should be agreed
that can be implemented by contracting parties and should provide for efficient procedures that avoid unnecessary administrative burdens,
3. promoting the increased development of pest- or commodity- specific standards, leading to the use of specific globally harmonised phytosanitary measures.
AS REGARDS INFORMATION EXCHANGE, recognising the importance of access to sufficient and current information on the presence and distribution of plant pests in order to
ensure the use of proportionate measures and safe international trade in plants and plant products, the EU will aim at
4. supporting the improved and efficacious implementation of the global pest reporting system and promoting the improved accessibility and transparency in communicating countries’
phytosanitary legislation, in particular all phytosanitary import requirements.
AS REGARDS PHYTOSANITARY CAPACITY BUILDING, recognising that appropriate phytosanitary capacity and strong national plant protection organizations in all countries is a
prerequisite to fulfilling the objectives of the IPPC, the EU will aim at:
5. promoting the efficient provision of phytosanitary capacity building activities with a focus on core functions and obligations of the IPPC and using synergies between capacity development activities of various donors and programmes of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),
6. further developing phytosanitary capacity building activities in plant health, including for developing countries, through the ‘Better Training for Safer Food’ programme, paying
particular attention to IPPC issues.
AS REGARDS IPPC RESOURCES AND GOVERNANCE, considering it of utmost importance that the IPPC structures and procedures ensure the most efficient use of available
resources, the EU will aim at:
7. reviewing the structures of the IPPC with a view to improving its efficiency and access to resources, and contributing to the feasibility study investigating increased autonomy of the
IPPC within FAO regarding operational and financial planning,
8. keeping under review the performance of the IPPC in addressing the current global phytosanitary situation with a view to keeping the Convention innovative and fit for purpose.
CONSIDERING COOPERATION WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS of utmost importance in order to develop complementary work as a means of achieving common objectives, the EU will aim at:
9. supporting reinforced cooperation of the IPPC with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission, within the framework of the WTOSPS
agreement, and with other organisations and conventions, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with a view to taking advantage of synergies, e.g. in dealing with
invasive alien species that are harmful to plants, while avoiding duplication of work and identifying gaps. Cooperation should primarily focus on standard setting and implementation,
policy recommendations, dispute settlement and public awareness,
10. maintaining its strong collaboration with EPPO and make every effort to coordinate matters related to the IPPC with European non-EU countries through the well-established and
effective coordination mechanism provided by EPPO.
AS REGARDS COMMUNICATION OF IPPC OBJECTIVES and the need to raise awareness about phytosanitary matters and the IPPC with policy makers, stakeholders and the
general public, the EU will aim at
11. contributing to the development of an IPPC communication strategy, and to raising awareness about the importance of plant health, the protection of plants and plant products as well as the importance of the IPPC as the global instrument for cooperation and harmonization.
AS REGARDS EU COORDINATION OF IPPC RELATED WORK, recognising that concerted actions and internal coordination arrangements have given the EU due influence on
many activities of the IPPC, the EU will aim at
12. continuing and further developing coordination arrangements in order to maintain the high quality of scientific, technical and strategic contributions to achieving the objectives of the
IPPC and supporting the priorities of EU."