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European Commission


Brussels, 17 December 2012

Preparation Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 18 and 19 December 2012

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of December 2012 will take place in Brussels on 18 & 19 December 2012, under the presidency of Mr Sofoklis Aletraris, Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, will represent the Commission at the meeting. The Fisheries points will be dealt with on Tuesday 18 December and again on Wednesday 19 December in the afternoon. A press conference will be held at the end of the discussions. The Agriculture points will be dealt with on Wednesday morning and a press conference will be held at the end of the morning's session.

The public debates and the press conferences can be followed by video streaming:


Fishing opportunities for 2013

Commissioner Maria Damanaki will present the Commission's proposals for fixing fishing opportunities for 2013 for the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Black Sea. Ministers will discuss these proposals with a view to reach political agreement so that the limits can enter into force on 1 January 2013.

Atlantic and North Sea

One Commission proposal concerns the 83 fish stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea managed by the EU exclusively (IP/12/1148). In line with scientific advice, the Commission proposes to increase or maintain the total allowable catch (TACs) for 16 stocks (including certain stocks of cod, Norway lobster, and sole), and reduce them for 47 stocks. The Commission's goal and one of the pillars of the on-going Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels, the so-called Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2015. Long-term planning is key to achieving this goal and will enable more and more fish stocks to reach MSY which in return will benefit the whole fishing industry.

Ministers will also discuss the proposal concerning fish stocks managed together with third countries or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) throughout the world (IP/12/1229). For the preparation of these proposals the European Commission has used scientific advice to negotiate with third countries (Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Russia) the quantities of fish stocks to be caught in the following year. For the stocks in international waters and for highly migratory species, such as tuna, the European Commission has negotiated fishing opportunities in the framework of RFMOs.

In negotiations with its international partners, the Commission has done its utmost to reach agreements that are sustainable and respect scientific advice.

Black Sea

Bulgaria and Romania are the only Member states concerned by the proposals for fishing opportunities for the Black Sea. The Commission proposes to cut the EU quota for turbot by 15%, to 74 tonnes and keep the EU quota for sprat unchanged, at 11,475 tonnes (MEX/12/1203).

Other fisheries points

Long-term plan for cod stocks

The Council will also discuss a proposal of the Commission for long-term plan for cod stocks and the fisheries exploiting those stocks.


The plenary session will be dedicated to the presentation of the Presidency's progress report on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform. This Report presents the Presidency's opinion on progress achieved in the negotiations on the reform the in the last 6 months, identifying key issues which remain outstanding.

Any other business

Agriculture issues

  • Vine planting rights: the Commission will inform participants on the conclusions reached at the last meeting of the High Level Group on Wine held in Brussels on 14 December (IP/12/1378).

  • - at the request of the Bulgarian delegation, participants will discuss a common declaration of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia on coupled support supported by Slovenia.

  • at the request of the German delegation, participants will discuss sugar production levies for 2002-2006.

  • the Commission will present its second report to the Council and the Parliament on the evolution of the dairy market situation and conditions for a smooth phasing out of the milk quota system, as requested by the Council as part of the 2008 CAP Health Check.

Health issues

The Presidency will inform participants on the conclusions of the International Conference on the movement of exotic animals organized by FVE and the Cypriot Presidency on 4 and 5 October 2012

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