The IPPC Secretariat meets representatives from the European Commission for strengthening bilateral cooperation

Posted on Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 14:15

Meeting with DG TRADE and DG SANTE

The Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has very strong cooperation with the European Commission (EC). For the past decade, the EC has provided generous and continuous financial support to the IPPC Secretariat’s Work Plan, notably support for travel for representatives of IPPC contracting parties to attend meetings, the implementation of the IPPC and its International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, and supporting the Implementation, Review and Support System (IRSS) project. To further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the IPPC Secretariat and the EC, a delegation from the IPPC Secretariat payed an official visit to the EC on 19 June 2018 and met with several representatives of the EC at their HQs in Brussels, Belgium.

The IPPC Secretariat delegation was composed of Mr Jingyuan XIA (IPPC Secretary), Mr Craig FEDCHOCK (IPPC Advisor), Mr Brent LARSON (Implementation Facilitation Unit Lead) and Mr Tommaso TETI (Project Management Associate). The EC representatives included: Ms Ewa SYNOWIEC (Director from DG SANTE), Mr Zoltân SOMOGYI (Head of Unit 3 from DG TRADE), Ms Cecile BILLAUX (Deputy Head of Unit 3 from DG TRADE), Mr Francisco TRISTANTE (Policy Officer at Unit 3 from DG TRADE), Ms Marcela KREJCIKOVA (Administrative Assistant to the Direct from DG TRADE), and Mr Roman VAGNER (Policy Officer at Unit G1 from DG SANTE).

The main purpose of this visit was to update the EC on progress made in implementing several projects funded by the EC. The EC was informed that the project on the Implementation of the IPPC and its ISPMs was on track and minor changes were discussed. For the IRSS project, the EC was informed of changes to the way it is being managed. The IRSS project (3rd cycle) will now be under the oversite of the Implementation and Capacity Development Committee and the project will be managed by the Implementation Facilitation Unit of the IPPC Secretariat with input from other units. These changes should help increase the transparency of which activities are being worked on and help this project to become more integrated within the Secretariat and allow the activities of the IRSS to be more driven by the needs of the IPPC Community. The EC were pleased with the outputs of these projects and welcomed the increased transparency and commitment to enhance communications.

Additional ideas on new projects for the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) were discussed. The EC renewed their commitment to support the work of the IPPC Secretariat and in return the IPPC Secretariat expressed their gratitude for the EC’s support. The EC requested the IPPC Secretariat to submit concept notes for the next round of funding, which would outline ideas for continuing the existing EC funded projects as well as ideas on special projects for the IYPH in 2020. It was also noted that Mr Brent LARSON, Implementation and Facilitation Unit Lead, will now be the new focal point in the IPPC Secretariat for these EC funded projects.

Finally, the IPPC Secretariats delegation met with Mr Rodrigo de la PUERTA (Director of FAOLOB─FAO Liaison Office in Brussels) and his colleagues. The main objectives of the meeting were to brief them on the mission to the EC and the achievements, and to search for their further support and put in place follow up actions. Through the meeting, both sides got a better understanding of each other’s mandates, and agreed on priority areas for the further cooperation with EC, such as ePhyto, e-Commerce, dispute avoidance, and emergent pests. With this improved knowledge on the IPPC Secretariat’s activities, FAOLOB is better positioned to assist the IPPC Secretariat from Brussels.

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