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European Commission - Press release

Commission calls on Greece and Hungary to transpose the Directive on harmful organisms to plants

BRUSSELS, 29 September 2011 – Today the European Commission has formally requested Greece and Hungary to notify national measures implementing Directive 2009/143/EC as regards the delegation of the tasks of laboratory testing on organisms harmful to plants. Full implementation of the Directive by Member States is essential to make sure the European environment is safe.

The Directive foresees in fact that the performance of laboratory tests for the detection of pests on plants - a task generally ensured by accredited national laboratories - may be also delegated to universities, research institutes or private laboratories. By widening the range of organizations which are allowed to carry out such tests, the Directive aims ultimately at enhancing the capacity of the EU in the early detection of pests which may affect plants.

Member States were expected to ensure implementation of the Directive before 1 January 2011. To date Greece and Hungary have not communicated to the Commission the relevant implementing measures.

Earlier this year the Commission initiated infringement proceedings - as foreseen by Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) - by sending a letter of formal notice to Greece and Hungary.

Today's request has the form of a "reasoned opinion". In so doing, the Commission is asking Greece and Hungary to ensure full compliance with the Directive within a period of two months. Subsequently, the Commission may decide to refer them to the EU's Court of Justice in case non-compliance persists.

For more information on the infringement procedure, please see:


For more information on the harmful organisms to plants legislation, please visit:

Contacts :

Frédéric Vincent (+32 2 298 71 66)

Aikaterini Apostola (+32 2 298 76 24)

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