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Brussels, 24 October 2012
Statement by Commissioner Maria Damanaki on the outcome of the Fisheries Council
"After long negotiations, EU Ministers reached a compromise on the future European fund to support fisheries and maritime affairs.
This compromise can be a step forward for the reform of our Common Fisheries Policy. It leaves open the perspective of breaking with the past.
Of course, our proposal is more ambitious than the compromise achieved in the Council: it puts an end to the ineffective subsidies of the past, which contributed to overfishing and to the economic decline of the fishing sector. It gets a much better return to tax-payers' money.
Even so, the Council position leaves room for a radical change: the Council decided to phase out scrapping of vessels –a measure that is strongly criticized by the European Court of Auditors – and is in favour of strict conditions for temporary cessation and engine replacement, to the benefit of young fishermen and local fisheries.
Moreover the amounts allocated for these purposes will be capped, in order to give priority to measures that improve scientific advice and control, increase selectivity and put in place the discard ban, favour small-scale fisheries, boost innovation, implement sustainability policies to reach Maximum Sustainable Yield and provide consumers with all the information they need.
Our proposal is still on the table. We are now looking forward to the decision of the European Parliament to put more weight on the targets of our proposal. In the trilogues, the European Commission will stand for a new, sustainable Common Fisheries Policy, and I hope this is something we can achieve with the cooperation of both the Council and the Parliament."