Irish presidency will work to reach agreement on the CFP reform

The Irish presidency of the Council aims for an agreement with the European Parliament on the fisheries reform before the end of June.

As Ireland takes over the presidency of the Council, the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is getting closer to an end. The aim of the Irish presidency, as stated in their work programme, is to reach an agreement with the European Parliament on the reform package.

Simon Coveney. Photo: Irish presidency.

Simon Coveney – Ireland’s minister for agriculture, food and the marine – elaborated on this goal in a recent article at theparliament.com:

“Looking forward to the Irish presidency, the reform of the CFP will be foremost on our work programme with agenda slots on most of the agriculture and fisheries council agendas in the new year. I will actively endeavour to reach agreement on the reform package during the Irish presidency in the first half of 2013. Our aim will be to facilitate the negotiations between the council and parliament with a view to brokering a compromise agreement by June.”

However, exactly how far the Irish government will be able to take the negotiations will depend on the timetable of agreement on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the timetable of the European Parliament. The first reading plenary vote on the basic regulation is scheduled to take place in the European Parliament in February (or possibly March). The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) has yet to be voted in the fisheries committee.

The tight timetable will be a challenge.

“Six months is not a long time in which to be so ambitious but we’ll work very hard to try to overcome this. Some factors are outside of our control but all the institutions want to have a new agreement in place as soon as possible so it is a shared ambition and we will co-operate closely with all to help realise this,” Marcella Smyth, Irish presidency spokesperson wrote in an email.

The file in the fisheries reform which is most likely to be negotiated first is the fisheries market regulation, which was voted by the European Parliament in September 2012. Regarding this file, Council spokesperson Marcella Smyth wrote: “Before trilogues can commence we would need to agree a mandate at Coreper and then enter into negotiations with Parliament – hopefully this is something that could happen in the first half of our Presidency.”

More information:
Read more about the legislative procedure at the European Parliament website: Ordinary legislative procedure.
Dates for Agriculture and Fisheries Council meetings during the Irish presidency.

Axel Naver

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