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Brussels, 16 April 2010
Preparation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of April, Luxembourg
The Agriculture & Fisheries Council will meet in Luxembourg on Monday 19 April (starting at 10.30 a.m.), under the Presidency of Mrs Elena Espinosa, Spanish Minister of the Rural, Marine and Natural Environment. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki will represent the Commission at the meeting. The only formal point on the agenda is a discussion of the upcoming reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Fisheries Reform: Public Consultation gives Ministers Food for Thought
Commissioner Maria Damanaki will present a summary of the contributions and the issues raised during the Commission's public consultation on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, which ran between April and December 2009. The consultation process generated an astonishing 1700 contributions from almost 300 different entities representing the industry, NGOs, citizens, academia, Member States, local authorities, non-EU countries and others.
The summary paper will give ministers an opportunity to reflect and exchange views on the reform. Commissioner Maria Damanaki has been keen to see the results of the consultation and take stock of the different options that have emerged at this stage. She looks forward to discussing with ministers and she will be taking a close interest in all opportunities for dialogue with stakeholders and Member States in the coming months and will further refine her stance accordingly.
The contributions to the consultation reveal a broad consensus on the need for analysis and reform, coupled with more diverse reactions on the various elements of the Green Paper on the reform of the CFP (IP/09/617). There is widespread agreement on certain important issues, such as need to strengthen the ecological sustainability approach - the long-term planning and the maximum sustainable yield targets - and the regional approach to policy-making and industry responsibility.
This further dialogue with stakeholders will address those issues identified as pivotal to the reform: governance, access to water bodies and resources and conservation issues, through the future of public funding, the external dimension and the policy for small-scale fisheries and coastal regions. The process will culminate in a conference convened by the Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the Council in La Coruna, Spain, on 2-3 May. An informal ministerial meeting will follow on 4-5 May in Vigo.
In June, European ministers will discuss the way forward for the future policy. The Commission will then carry out an Impact Assessment, after which it will be able to start drafting the legislative proposals introducing the reform. The Commission expects to adopt its proposals by mid 2011 and then negotiations with co-legislators can commence. The new legislation is expected to be adopted in 2012 and enter into force on 1 January 2013.
The Commission document summarizing the input of the public consultation can be found here:
Reform of the common market organisation (CMO) for fishery and aquaculture products
Over lunch, Ministers will discuss the Reform of the common market organisation (CMO) for fishery and aquaculture products.