At an extraordinary meeting 26 September, the Fisheries Committee in the European Parliament reached a decision on the allocation of reports in the CFP reform package. (Article updated 27 September)
“I am happy that we finally have a solution and can start serious work with the reform,” said Ulrike Rodust, coordinator for the S&D group in the fisheries committee.
Her group yesterday secured rapporteurship for the most important piece of legislation in the CFP reform, the basic regulation, after an extended conflict in the fisheries committee.
In July, EPP, ECR and ALDE struck a deal to divide the six reports among themselves. After protests from the other groups, this deal was canceled one month ago. Since then, many members of the Fisheries Committee have been busy trying to find a majority for an alternative distribution of the reports.
The main rivalry has been between the two largest groups, EPP and S&D, who both have sought compromises that would give them control over the basic regulation.
In the July deal that was canceled, EPP had the basic regulation. Yesterday’s decision, however, means that the EPP will instead get the rapporteurship for the financial regulation. EPP’s coordinator in the fisheries committee, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, said that the EPP would accept this deal since it had received support from a majority in the fisheries committee.
Contrary to the July deal, the groups now ‘pay’ for the reports according to the point system in which all groups have a number of points proportional to their number of MEPs.
Although the reports have been allocated to the groups, the work on the reform cannot start immediately. There is not yet any final decisions on what individual MEPs will be rapporteurs.
Having so far devoted more energy to the allocation of the reports than to the actual policy content, the European Parliament has given the Council a head start in the CFP reform. The Council working group on fisheries has already initiated discussions on the reform legislation.
The rapporteurship has been allocated as follows:
S&D – Basic Regulation
EPP – The new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (Commission proposal expected in November)
ECR – Market regulation
Greens/EFA – External dimension
ALDE – 12 nautical miles (access to waters)
EFD – Overarching Communication
GUE/NGL will draft an initiative report on small scale fisheries and the reform of the CFP.