Coveney welcomes commitment from EU member states on CFP reform –

Coveney welcomes commitment from EU member states on CFP reform Published:  16 April, 2013

The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD has welcomed the commitment by Director Generals for Fisheries of EU Member States (meeting at the National Seafood Centre, Clonakility on Tuesday April 16) to achieve agreement on CFP reform by the end of June.

The meeting, hosted by the Irish Presidency, assessed progress on the Reform proposal to date and explored options for brokering resolutions by EU Ministers and Parliament. 

While there is agreement between the Council and the Parliament on the policy objectives for the Reform, there remain significant outstanding issues on the detailed implementation arrangements.  Directors General from 23 EU Member States, together with a delegation from the European Commission attended the meeting.

The Minister said: “I am encouraged by the fact that the key EU Member States with an interest in fisheries policy were represented at the Clonakilty meeting. This indicates the serious desire by all parties involved to make reform of Europe’s Common Fisheries Policy a reality.   Significant progress has already been made during our Presidency on advancing the CFP Reform process and we are now entering a critical stage of the process when we can expect things to become even more challenging.”

The Irish Presidency has prioritised securing an agreed Reform of the CFP by the end of June. This will necessitate all three EU institutions involved (Council of Ministers, EU Parliament and the EU Commission) agreeing on a final way forward.

Mr Coveney continued: “Bringing together the most senior officials of the key Fisheries Member States at this delicate stage is another important step in preparing the groundwork for EU Ministers and Parliament to agree a final deal before the end of June. I have always believed that the Irish Presidency offers the best opportunity to secure agreement on a significant and lasting Reform of the CFP.”

The current CFP reform proposals aim to bring fish stocks back to sustainable levels by setting fishing opportunities based on scientific advice to deliver maximum sustainable yields, eliminate discards on a phased basis and bring renewed prosperity to the fisheries sector by creating opportunities for economic growth in coastal areas.

“The time is now right for a radical and lasting reform of the CFP. I intend to work with all parties involved during the remaining months of our Presidency to secure that crucial final agreement. Significant challenges remain and we anticipate an intense work programme in the weeks and months ahead if we are to achieve our ambition of brokering an agreed CFP reform package. The robust and proactive discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of senior officials will make an important contribution to this process and prepares the way for the Ministerial discussion on the Reform in the EU Fisheries Council of Ministers next Monday in Luxembourg,” the minister added.