Members of the European Nurserystock Association (ENA) gather in Kiev for General Assembly
Xylella fastidiosa: the worst current threat to European nurseries

KIEV, Ukraine: The European Nurserystock Association (ENA) summer meeting was held in Ukrainian  capital Kiev during the first week of July 2019. The delegates from 15 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom) attended and discussed the main issues in the nursery sector.

The ENA President, Mr Jan-Dieter Bruns, thanked the Ukrainian nurseries for hosting the event, mentioned the numerous trade contacts between Ukrainian and EU nurseries, and stressed the significance of talking about the problems and sharing the information and concerns of the nursery sector regardless of governments and political boundaries.

The General Assembly discussed the implementation of the Plant Health Regulation in each EU member state. This Regulation enforces a common EU Plant Passport layout for all countries and shall enter into force on 14 December 2019. The delegates from too many countries complained that their nurseries are receiving little or no information from their national plant health authorities on the implementation of the new Plant Passport and the traceability obligations they will have to comply with.

The situation of Xylella fastidiosa, “the worst current threat to European nurseries”, as Mr Henk Raaijmakers, the ENA Vice-President, described it, was also reviewed. The delegates from affected countries explained the status of the latest outbreaks and how they are being controlled. The General Assembly discussed the option to have the nurseries insured against the losses caused by quarantine pests that is already available in a few countries. Vice-President Raaijmakers encouraged European nurseries to have their plant health risks well assessed, and to work to minimise the risks of the introduction of Xylella into production nurseries or trading.

The participants in the ‘Green Cities for a Sustainable Europe’ project also held a coordination meeting in Kyiv. The project is running so well that new countries would like to join the current participants to prepare a new and extended project to promote covering cities with plants. ‘This summer, since we are suffering from heat waves never seen before, decision-makers in the cities must know that planting trees helps to mitigate climate change,” stated Mr Leon Smet, chair of the Promotion WG.

Additionally, ENA delegates shared information about last season trends in plant production and internal and export markets of nursery stock in each country.

Mr Jan-Dieter Bruns, the ENA President, expressed his satisfaction for the evolution of the European market and adjourned the meeting inviting all delegates to Bavaria, Germany, to the ENA summer meeting 2020.

A tour to visit some nurseries around the country complemented the meetings, organised by ‘Ukraine Plants Industry Association’(http://auri.org.ua/