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Partnership agreements with Non-EU Member Countries
This communication reviews Community policy on fisheries agreements with non-EU countries in order to contribute more effectively to the sustainable development of fisheries while protecting the interests of the European fisheries sector.
Commission communication of 23 December 2002 on an integrated framework for fisheries partnership agreements with third countries [COM(2002) 637 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Community agreements under the common fisheries policy. Under the CFP the European Union develops different types of relationships with third countries.
Multilateral actions have been taken by the European Union (EU) and several Member States regarding, in particular, straddling stocks and stocks developing in the high seas, such as the highly migratory species. The Community has also concluded many bilateral agreements.
To meet the new challenges offered by responsible fishing, the European Commission is proposing to transform its bilateral agreements with financial contributions into fisheries partnership agreements (FPAs) to encourage sustainable fisheries in the interests of satisfying all the parties.
These agreements generally concern the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP countries) and should expand to include all countries offering access to their surplus fish.
The Union's policy on bilateral relations based on financial contributions.
The Union wishes to implement sustainable fisheries while protecting the interests of its distant-water fishing fleet. The FPAs will meet these objectives. They will provide a vehicle for political dialogue between the EU and certain third countries covering aspects relating to the management of resources, fleet monitoring and surveillance and the development of fisheries.
The single financial contribution paid by the European Union will consist of two parts. Firstly, the contribution, which will be assessed in the light of access to resources and will for the most part be financed by the private sector in the form of fees, and secondly, the financial compensation, which will be allocated to the development of sustainable fishing.
The Community contribution will be calculated taking account of the fishing opportunities made available to Community vessels, the identification of measures to encourage the development of sustainable fisheries and, lastly, the impact of the partnership agreement and the participation of European interests on the partner coastal state's fisheries sector as a whole.
Objectives and implementation of the FPAs. The FPAs will guarantee the sustainability of the fisheries sector and become the basis for external bilateral and sub-regional action under the common fisheries policy.
For the purposes of drawing up the FPAs, sustainability policy will be defined in collaboration with the country concerned. In particular, this will involve assessing the national fisheries policy and identifying what the country needs in order to develop sustainable fisheries policy.
The FPAs will encourage the transfer of capital, technology and know-how, in particular through the creation of joint ventures. They will also fit in with the overall development of the coastal regions and their integration into the world fisheries economy.