In a compromise that sidesteps the regular procedure, it has now been decided which political groups will be responsible for taking the different parts of the CFP reform through the European Parliament.
As the Commission has now presented their proposal on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the reform package will go to the European Parliament (EP) and Council.
In the EP, each legal proposal from the Commission is appointed to a member of the Parliament (MEP), who becomes the rapporteur who drafts a report with amendments to the Commission’s proposal. Being the rapporteur for a report gives a lot of influence over the legislative process.
This Wednesday afternoon, coordinators (one MEP from each political group) in the EP’s fisheries committee met to distribute the reports in the CFP reform package presented today by the European Commission.
As the result of an unannounced move, all six reports in the CFP package will be given to three groups: EPP, ECR and ALDE.
Normally, groups in the fisheries committee can ‘buy’ reports through a point system, in which all groups have a number of points proportional to their number of MEPs.
However, as the coordinators met today, EPP, ECR and ALDE announced that they had reached a compromise together: they will distribute the reports among themselves, without paying through the normal point system. Since the three groups represent a majority of MEPs in the Committee, they could reach a majority for this agreement.
MEPs from the other groups protested. GUE/NGL and the Greens said this this was an undemocratic move that sidestepped the proportional representation, which is the intention of the point system. Further, they said this does not inspire a good spirit of cooperation when the Parliament now takes on these important proposals.
The EPP, ECR and ALDE members, however, insisted they have the right to reach a compromise like this according to the rules of procedure.
After its introduction in 1983, the CFP has been up for reform twice before, but this is the first time the European Parliament will be involved in the reform process. This is because the EP is entitled to co-decision on fisheries since the introduction of the Lisbon treaty.
It is now up to the groups to decide what MEPs within the groups that get the reports.
The six reports are the following:
New Basic Regulation
New Markets Regulation
New European Fisheries Fund Regulation
Communication on External Fisheries relations
Communication on the Reform of the CFP
Communication on Reporting Obligations