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IP/10/1578

Brussels, 24 November 2010

Food Safety: Commission requests Austria to transpose provisions of the Directive on control of potato cyst nematodes

The European Commission has asked Austria to notify national implementing measures as required by Directive 2007/33/EC on the control of potato cyst nematodes. The request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion" under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may decide to refer Austria to the European Court of Justice

Austria has not communicated the measures implementing Directive 2007/33/EC on the control cyst nematodes, which are harmful potato organisms. The production of healthy, high-quality potatoes depends to a large extent on the standard of the material used for cultivation. Healthy, high-quality crops in all Member states means a more competitive EU producer and a citizen that is able to consume good-quality products.

Earlier this year the Commission initiated an infringement procedure (Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) by sending a letter of formal notice to Austria. The Commission through a "Reasoned Opinion," is now formally asking Austria to take action to comply with EU law within a period of two months. Subsequently, the Commission may decide to refer Austria to the ECJ if action to ensure compliance is not taken.

Background

This Directive establishes the measures to be taken by the Member States against potato cyst nematodes, to prevent their spread and to control their distribution. Official investigations are envisaged to ensure that no potato cyst nematodes are found in fields so that phytosanitary conditions within a field are homogenous. It is the duty of Member States to ensure that the results of the investigations are officially recorded and accessible to the Commission. Member States were supposed to implement Directive 2007/33/EC by June 30, 2010, but Austria has failed to do so.

For more information on the infringement procedure, please see:

MEMO/10/605

For more information on harmful organisms' legislation, please visit:

http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/organisms/emergency/control_en.htm


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