European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization
What is EPPO?
The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) is an international organization responsible for cooperation and harmonization in plant protection within the European and Mediterranean region. Under the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC, Article IX), EPPO is the Regional Plant Protection Organization (RPPO) for the Euro-Mediterranean region. The Convention for the establishment of EPPO was signed on the 18th of April 1951 in Paris and is deposited at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has since been amended several times by the EPPO Council. The last amendments were agreed in September 1999, and had the principal aim of taking due account of the last revisions made to the IPPC.
EPPO's objectives and main activities
The objectives of the Organization can be summarized as follows:
- To protect plant health in agriculture, forestry and the uncultivated environment.
- To develop an international strategy against the introduction and spread of pests (including invasive alien plants) that damage cultivated and wild plants, in agricultural and natural ecosystems and protecting biodiversity.
- To encourage harmonization of phytosanitary regulations and all other areas of official plant protection action.
- To promote the use of modern, safe, and effective pest control methods.
- To provide a documentation and information service on plant protection.
In order to achieve these objectives, the following main activities are conducted within EPPO:
- Setting regional standards for phytosanitary measures and plant protection products.
- Organizing technical meetings (Working Parties, Panels, Expert Working Groups) bringing together experts from all parts of the EPPO region.
- Participating in global activities related to phytosanitary measures coordinated by the IPPC Secretariat within FAO. More details
- Organizing international conferences and workshops for plant protection researchers, managers of plant protection organizations, phytosanitary inspectors.
- Publishing its official journal (Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin), the EPPO Reporting Service, databases and websites.
Colorado beetle (Courtesy: Ilya Mityushev, RU)
Its introduction into Europe is one of the
reasons why EPPO was created in 1951
Working Party on Phytosanitary Measures (Ghent, 2016)
The EPPO technical body which elaborates strategies
on how to avoid the introduction and spread of pests
EPPO is an intergovernmental body which means that only governments can be members of the Organization (not individuals) and the Organization is mainly financed by contributions paid by its member governments. EPPO has grown from its 15 original members in 1951 to today's 52 member countries, including nearly every country in the European and Mediterranean region, as well as Asian countries which were previously part of USSR. It can be noted that all European Union member states are members of EPPO. In addition to its member countries, EPPO has established many contacts with the European Commission, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).
EPPO is administered by its Executive Committee (7 countries elected on a rotational basis, meeting twice a year), under the control of its Council (deleguates from all member countries, meeting once a year) headed by a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman, elected as individuals.
The technical work of the Organization is carried out by Panels and Expert Working Groups under the supervision of 2 Working Parties (one on phytosanitary measures and another on plant protection products). Experts are nominated by their NPPOs.
A Secretariat (EPPO staff working at the headquarters in Paris) is headed by a Director-General (Mr Nico HORN) and an Assistant Director (Ms Françoise PETTER).
Networks hosted by EPPO
Euphresco: since 2014, EPPO is hosting Euphresco, a network of organizations (e.g. NPPOs, Research Institutes) funding and coordinating research in plant health. The coordinator of Euphresco is Mr Baldissera GIOVANI.
EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility: since 2015, EPPO is hosting the EU Minor Uses Coordination Facility (MUCF). Its mission is 'to enable farmers in the EU to produce high quality crops by filling minor uses gaps through efficient collaboration to improve availability of chemical and non-chemical tools within an integrated pest management (IPM) framework’. The coordinator of the MUCF is Ms Barbara EDLER.