Commissioner in dialogue with European social partners

09 Nov 2016
The partners want Vella to align the CFP with international and national standards

The partners want Vella to align the CFP with international and national standards

EU social partners have met with Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, to discuss the pressing issues facing the fishing sector, including health and working conditions at sea.

At the Plenary session held on 4 November 2016, representatives from across Europe gave a synopsis of what they believe to be the current social gaps in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and called for a task force to be set up to address their concerns.

Mr Ment van der Zwan, employers’ group spokesperson, said: “I am very pleased that Commissioner Vella is actively engaging with the fishing sector and has shown great consideration towards the social dimension of fisheries. However, we cannot lose momentum; the safety of human life is of such paramount importance that it must be at the forefront of the EU agenda.”

He pointed out that the CFP needs to be aligned with international and national standards to improve working conditions and safety at sea.

“For instance, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements (SFPAs) need to be aligned with flag state responsibilities concerning social standards (medical certification, basic training, employment relationship, language issues),” he said.

The social partners also want a possible proposal for a Regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Directive on transposing the Social Partners Agreement (SPA) on ILO Work in Fishing Convention C188, 2007.

They have also called for serious impact assessments which must take due consideration of the negative socio-economic and safety effects of European legislation eg large cuts in TACs, 30% no-take zones proposed by IUCN, EU rule limiting gross tonnage which impedes improvement of working conditions and the possible TAC for the Mediterranean swordfish and landings obligation.

There was a wide consensus from all parties that there must be a deeper engagement between the fishing industry and all Commission’s Directorates Generals, highlighting the need for greater coordination.

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