The Swedish organization LRF Horticulture (LRF Trädgård) hosted the meeting that was attended by delegates from 15 different countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).
The meeting had a great focus on Plant Health with discussions driven by Mr Marc Van Hulle, chairman of the ENA EU Legislation Working Group. The General Assembly widely deliberated about Xylella fastidiosa. Delegates at ENA expressed their concerns about this disease and also stated their confidence that the European nurseries are acting properly, in accordance with the regulations and at the highest level of plant health. The General Assembly confirmed ENA is strongly in favor of the robust measures adopted by the European Commission to prevent the spread of this disease in Europe but, at the same time, is against any additional measures implemented by EU Member States preventing the free circulation of goods within the EU. It was also agreed to ask the European Commission for significant high funding that will allow 1) rapid reaction against the first detections, including compensation for owners if eradication measures must be taken and 2) start or enhance R&D projects to prevent and fight against Xylella and other quarantine pests and diseases.
The General Assembly debated about the effects of the EU Regulation on the Invasive Alien Species on plants produced and marketed by European nurseries. It was stated that the Regulation does not provide for any exceptions for varieties obtained with the purpose of creating sterile and non-invasive forms. The Regulation refers without exception to species as lower rank taxa, while there are many non-invasive varieties and cultivation forms on the market; for example, sterile varieties not producing seeds. It was agreed to offer the ENA specialists support to the European Commission’s committees on Invasive Alien Species.
Leon Smet, chairman of the ENA International Plant Names List Working Group, updated the delegates about changing names and adding new species and varieties to the list. It was decided to finish the names compilation work by the end of summer to have time during autumn to review it, with the aim of publishing the new International Plant Names List in early 2016 (www.internationalplantnames.com).
All ENA delegates shared information about the trends on plant production and internal and export markets of nurseries in each country, summarized in a table that ENA President Mr Tim Edwards proposed to update twice a year.
The summer meeting finished visiting Splendor Plant (www.spelndorplant.se), one of Sweden’s largest nurseries, and Tönnersjö Nursery (www.tonnersjo.se), one of Sweden’s largest tree producers, guided by Patrick Svensson, the Swedish nurseryman and Vice-President of ENA.