The Belgian Presidency of the EU begins today (1 July), following on from Spain. Hungary will hold the six month Presidency from 1 January 2011.
As President of the Council of the EU, Belgium’s role mainly consists of organising and managing the work of each Council configuration through its competent ministers. Since it is Flanders who represents Belgium on fisheries matters, the Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters will Chair meetings of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.
Fisheries priorities for the Belgian Presidency include ongoing discussion on the CFP reform and the setting of catch limits, including for deep sea stocks for 2011 and 2012. The text below is taken from the Programme of the Belgian Presidency of the EU.
“The reform of the Common Fisheries Plan will also be a priority for the Belgian Presidency. During the Council Meeting of November, the Presidency will organise a debate on this theme, placing the emphasis on cooperation between the scientific community and the fisheries sector.
The Belgian Presidency will work to reach a political agreement on fishing opportunities for 2011 and 2012. The Belgian Presidency will be committed to making progress on the work concerning multi-annual fishing management plans. The multi-annual plansconcerning anchovy stocks in the Gulf of Gascony and western stocks of Atlantic horse mackerel must be adopted during the second half of 2010. In addition, the Presidency will contribute actively to the evaluation of the plan for managing stocks of plaice and sole in the North Sea, and shall commence work concerning the future long-term plan for salmon in the Baltic Sea.”
Fisheries Programme of the Presidency
Schedule of Agricuture and Fisheries Council meetings:
12 July, Brussels
27 September, Brussels
25 and 26 October, Luxembourg
29 and 30 November, Brussels
13 and 14 December, Brussels
Meeting of Director Generals of fisheries, 12- 14 September in Ghent, where current issues relating to the CFP will be discussed.
Meeting of the Fisheries Attachés 15- 17 July, Ghent.
International Symposium, 9-10 November: “Improved fisheries and science partnerships as policy drivers”, Oostende.