Baltic Member States sign a Memorandum of Understanding and strengthen their regional cooperation
In the margins of the Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries, the Member States surrounding the Baltic Sea basin have signed today a Memorandum of Understanding underlining their joint commitment to making the best use of the possibilities presented by the new CFP's promotion of regionalisation.
Prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Commissioner Damanaki addressed the Ministers of the Baltic Member States in a speech which you can read below.
Dear Ministers, ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be here today with the Baltic Member States and to witness the first concrete steps in implementing the Reform. To me the Memorandum of Understanding you are signing today is proof that you are at the forefront of regionalization. I have seen this already in the past two years and today you deliver the proof. I welcome this and congratulate you warmly.
Your approach will help deliver the CFP's objectives and it will do this in the way that is best adapted to the specific ambitions and challenges of Baltic stakeholders and Baltic fisheries.
Over the years the Baltic countries have contributed significantly to the effective implementation of the CFP and made good progress towards the key objective of a sustainable fisheries. Four Baltic stocks are already at MSY and others are on track to reach MSY by 2015.
A crucial new milestone under the reformed CFP is the landing obligation. Here too you are working hard. Discussions are well underway on a discard plan for Baltic stocks. This is now becoming urgent. Member States need to reach a final decision early next year if we are to meet the 1 January 2015 deadline for the entry into force of the landing obligation.
By signing a Memorandum, you are signalling your intention to cooperate and work collectively with the stakeholders and the Advisory Councils so that the CFP is effectively implemented in the Baltic Sea. I look forward to continuing working with you to make this happen.