What is Xylella fastidiosa?
Questions and Answers regarding Xylella fastidiosa: EN
Xylella fastidiosa (Wells et al.) is one of the most dangerous plant bacteria worldwide, causing a variety of diseases, with huge economic impact for agriculture.
It was reported for the first time in the Union territory by the Italian Authorities in October 2013, in the region of Apulia, affecting mainly olive groves. Based on official survey activities, the rest of the Italian territory is still considered to be free from the bacterium. Subsequently, in July 2015, the French Authorities reported the first outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in their territory, in Corsica, and later in France mainland, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, affecting mainly the myrtle-leaf milkwort. The bacterium present in the respective Member States has a different epidemiology confirming that the source of infection is different. In both cases, however, the affected host plants are increasing as investigations progress.
Xylella fastidiosa is regulated in the EU as quarantine organism under Council Directive 2000/29/EC ('Plant Health Directive') on protective measures against the introduction into the Community of organisms harmful to plants or plant products and against their spread within the Community. As such, the introduction of this organism into, and its spreading within all Member States, shall be banned. The Plant Health Directive provides Member States with the legal obligations to abide by, once the organism is known to be present. Irrespective of the symptoms, all necessary measures to eradicate it, or if that is impossible, to inhibit its further spread, must be taken.
How will the Commission prevent the further introduction of Xylella fastidiosa from non-EU countries?
Could there be other causes for the decline of olive trees since some scientific papers argue that it is caused by a combination of fungi which weaken the plants before being attacked by Xylella fastidiosa, and specific treatments seem to exist?
To know more about the actions taken by the EU against Xylella fastidiosa and the map of outbreaks reported in the EU, please consult the following documents::
- Demarcated area adopted by the Member States on 15th March 2016