2020 is the International Year of Plant Health. It is also the year when the new Plant Health Law is implemented across the European Union.

EFSA has embarked on a number of interconnected projects that support the European Commission's efforts to protect the EU from plant pests and diseases and to help Member States prepare to meet future threats.

Supporting the International Year of Plant Health

Horizon scanning

Horizon scanning is essential in an age when pests can travel from one side of the globe to the other in a matter of days. EFSA keeps track of the pests of tomorrow through regular monitoring of the media and scientific literature worldwide.

Pest surveillance

EU Member States must be prepared to meet the increasing threat posed by plant pests. To help them plan their pest surveys, EFSA provides a toolkit that includes pest survey cards, survey guidelines, and statistical tools. The aim is to assist national authorities in carrying out plant pest surveys in their territories and to harmonise surveillance methods across the EU.


Priority pests

To help the EU and its Member States prepare their defence strategies, the European Commission has identified 20 priority pests that present the most serious economic, environmental and social threat to EU countries.


High-risk plants

As part of the new plant health rules, the European Commission has drawn up a list of high-risk plants whose entry into the EU is prohibited, pending a commodity risk assessment. These are plants that are known hosts of particularly dangerous pests and EFSA is in charge of conducting these assessments.

Pest risk assessments

One of EFSA's key tasks is to assess whether plant pests should be considered for inclusion in the EU's overall lists of quarantine pests. It does this by conducting pest categorisations and/or pest risk assessments.

Olive tree

International Year of Plant Health

Plants make up 80 percent of the food we eat. Yet they are under constant attack from pests, with the FAO estimating that up to 40 percent of food crops are destroyed globally each year. That leaves millions of people hungry and seriously damages our agriculture and environment.