EU chief wants five-pronged CFP reform

22 Oct 2010
With the new CFP set to take effect on 1 January 2013, commissioner Damanaki pledged to present proposals in the first half of 2011.

With the new CFP set to take effect on 1 January 2013, commissioner Damanaki pledged to present proposals in the first half of 2011.

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) must aim to ensure sustainable exploitation of resources and contribute to the 'Europe 2020' strategy by working on robust economic performance, inclusive growth and enhanced coastal cohesion, EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki told the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries (PECH) this week.

This package will represent the centrepiece of the Commission's work programme on fisheries but other issues will not be neglected, added Damanaki, who presented her programme for 2011 to MEPs.

With the new CFP set to take effect on 1 January 2013, the commissioner pledged to present proposals in the first half of 2011.These will make up a coherent, five-part package:

1. A general communication explaining the content of the proposals but also highlighting the Commission's ideas for all those areas that will not be part of the proposed legal instruments (eg how to improve the quality of scientific advice);

2. A communication on the reformed international dimension of the CFP covering international organisations, regional fisheries management organisations and fisheries partnership agreements with third countries;

3. A legislative proposal with the basic framework for the functioning of the CFP;

4. A proposal to reform the common organisation of the market (COM), which will address sector organisation, the role of producer organisations, improved management of fisheries and aquaculture, marketing of fisheries and aquaculture products, revision of market support and stabilisation instruments, as well as information for consumers; and

5. A proposal on a fund to support the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), the CFP and aquaculture. This will concern "integrating all the financial instruments we need" into a single instrument capable of supporting the objectives of the CFP and contributing to the 'Europe 2020' targets.

The Commission will also continue developing specific proposals for certain fisheries, such as long-term plans for Southern hake, Norway lobster, pelagic stocks and salmon in the Baltic.

On fishing opportunities, the commissioner warned: "I intend to continue my firm but fair approach" based on scientific advice. Responding to the EP's request to strengthen the ban on shark fishing, the commissioner announced the forthcoming launch of a six-week public consultation on how to close the existing loophole in legislation.

Her aim is to present a proposal on the protection of sharks by July 2011.

The Integrated Maritime Policy will also get a boost. In the wake of adoption, on 8 September, of the communication on marine knowledge, Damanaki announced a communication establishing a road map for the integration of maritime surveillance and by December a communication on maritime spatial planning with the aim of presenting a proposal in 2011 for actions in this area.

Such actions will have to be developed in coordination with current and future policies: CFP, framework directive on the marine strategy and future development of integrated coastal zone management, in full respect of the subsidiarity principle. The Commission, announced Damanaki, will soon launch an impact assessment and public consultation on this subject. It will also continue its development of sea basin strategies, tackling the Atlantic, North Sea and Mediterranean.

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