The 66th Session of EPPO Council took place in Paris at the UNESCO headquarters from the 27th to the 28th of September 2016. It was preceded by meetings of the Accounts Verification Panel and the Executive Committee, and followed by the Euphresco Governing Board. Delegates from 29 EPPO member countries participated in this Session, as well as observers from the European Commission, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and the Near East Plant Protection Organization (NEPPO). The Council was also particularly glad to welcome the new delegate from Georgia, our 51st member country, which joined EPPO in 2016.
The administrative business of the Council went smoothly, with acceptance of the annual report for 2015, the new budget format and accounts, and the budget for 2017. Council took the decision to incorporate funding for Euphresco into the EPPO budget so that EPPO countries all become members of the Euphresco network and collectively provide about half of the funding. The description of how the governance of Euphresco will work as a result was accepted by EPPO Council and the subsequent meeting of the Euphresco Governing Board. This was hailed as an important milestone for Euphresco and a major achievement for those who have been most involved over the years in this project.
The Council also agreed the proposed 2017 calendar and work programme, with the addition of two items (to reflect on possible links between phytosanitary regulations and plant protection products policy, and on how to provide guidance to member countries on the use of pheromones for surveillance).
Council members were updated on the technical work being carried out by EPPO Panels under the guidance of the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations and the Working Party on Plant Protection Products. They also received reports on a number of current and future potential projects (e.g. EPPO Codes for plant protection product uses, Regulated Non-Quarantine Pests, Q-bank, LIFE + project on invasive alien plants, DROPSA, Emphasis and revision of EPPO datasheets). It was also recalled that EPPO was now hosting the EU Minor Uses Co-ordination Facility (funded by a number of member countries and the EU) and a that a coordinator with a team of three persons have been appointed.
A number of new and revised EPPO Standards were agreed, and some additional pests proposed for regulation
Concerning statutory elections, as Serbia and Uzbekistan were reaching the end of their normal term of office on the EPPO Executive Committee, Portugal and Ukraine were elected to serve in their place from 2017. To ensure continuity, Austria was asked to serve for an additional year.