As MEPs debated fisheries reform Tuesday morning, they said the vote on Wednesday is a historic opportunity to change a failed policy and create a better future for European fisheries.
Ulrike Rodust, the rapporteur (S&D, Germany), said that the plenary vote will be historic because this is the first time the European Parliament has co-decision power over the fisheries reform. She, together with other MEPs, called on the ministers in Council to treat the Parliament as an equal partner in the upcoming negotiations.
Many speakers said this occasion is historic also because it is a once-in-a-decade chance to change direction and end decades of failed fisheries management in Europe. “This is a paradigm shift,” said Guido Milana (S&D, Italy).
MEPs from all groups, except some from the EPP, spoke out in favour of the report that was adopted in the fisheries committee and will be voted Wednesday.
EPP members like Alain Cadec (France) and Carmen Fraga (Spain) asked for support for their amendment introducing a range of exceptions to the discard ban, because, they said, this would be the only “pragmatic and realistic” approach.
Julie Girling (ECR, UK), said: “Do not listen to the siren call of the EPP amendment for ten percent allowance on discards. This is being promoted as pragmatic. It’s not pragmatic, it’s unambitious. And it’s downright dangerous. We know that we can deal with discards, we have proven it in the Southwest of England.”
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