Ireland North West MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher who is also a lead negotiator on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy for the European Parliament has described the revised mandate of the Council of Ministers on the Reform of the CFP as a “significant and positive step in the right direction concerning the extremely complex problems of discards, regionalisation and capacity management”.
Mr Gallagher was speaking this morning in Brussels following a briefing by Minister Coveney to the European Parliament’s negotiating team on the new mandate of the Council of Ministers. The EU Commissioner for Maritime and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki was also in attendance.
Mr Gallagher said this morning: “First and foremost, I would like to pay tribute to the Presidency for their work in progressing this extremely important policy within the Council of Ministers as the new mandate appears to have taken into account many of the important issues for the European Parliament.”
Mr Gallagher confirmed that “the new mandate will allow the Irish Presidency to resume negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission, which hopefully will result in a final agreement before the end of June”.
Mr Gallagher stated: “At this morning’s meeting, we agreed to consider the 200 page document which we hope to receive later today. We will carefully examine all aspects of the Council position and judge whether the compromise is acceptable in terms of the mandate of the Parliament which was adopted in Plenary in February. The Shadow Rapporteurs will meet this evening and the next trialogue meeting has been scheduled for the 28 May.
“The new mandate appears to largely have taken onboard the vast majority of the concerns of the European Parliament including several amendments which I personally put forward.”
“However, I am deeply disappointed that the Council of Ministers have not included my amendment which seeks to enshrine the Hague Presences into the Basic Regulation. That said, I understand that the Council have not rejected my amendment outright and I will continue to urge my colleagues in the European Parliament to insist on its inclusion.”
“Also, I will need to examine the text to ascertain whether the Council position supports greater recognition for the small scale, inshore and small island fleets as proposed by me”.