European agriculture, horticulture, forestry and the general environment face increasing threats from plant pests. The Community Plant Health Regime (CPHR) was tasked with preventing the introduction and spread of these pests through an earlier project, EUPHRESCO-I. The EUPHRESCO (European phytosanitary research coordination II) project was established to better coordinate research activities in support of the CPHR. The initiative aimed to broaden and deepen the scope of the EUPHRESCO-I project, and ensure that the project is sustainable. Specifically, EUPHRESCO set out to consolidate and coordinate national, transnational and EU funding for plant health research for the first time. The project also aimed to fund transnational research to support capacity development and improve policy and operations in the field of plant health. The project hosted a number of workshops to explore plant health issues in the Balkan region, the Baltic Sea, Eastern Europe and Nordic countries. This led to a stronger regional representation in the EUPHRESCO network. The workshops also covered forestry-specific threats and ways to improve trade of plant materials. EUPHRESCO expanded to include 31 partners from 22 countries. A notable new member is the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), an important plant health organisation in Europe. The project provided more than EUR 6 million in funding for 27 plant health research projects. Project partners also identified barriers to research collaboration and improved national policies to address this problem. EUPHRESCO's approach is a proven model for creating a long-lasting, sustainable network of funders, researchers and other organisations. This network also fosters cooperation between countries with similar climates, plant species and challenges, thus enhancing the European Research Area (ERA) in support of the CPHR.
Plant pests, plant health, phytosanitary, forestry