Speech at the Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland - Commissioner Damanaki delivered a speech at the Marine Institute in Galway, in the framework of the signing of the Joint Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, lauching a Transatlantic Research Alliance between the EU, the US and Canada.
Speech at the European Maritime Day 2013 in La Valetta, Malta - Commissioner Damanaki delivered the opening speech at European Maritime Day, taking place this year in La Valetta, Malta. This year's European Maritime Day focuses on coastal development and sustainable maritime tourism.
During her visit, Commissioner Damanaki also met with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Maltese Minister for Tourism Mr Karmenu Vella, Maltese Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Dr Chris Cardona. She also met with Swedish Minister of Infrastructure, Ms Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd.
She also awarded three students for their participation in a competition on maritime tourism as part of the European Maritime Day.
A series of ambitious measures have been adopted on May 17th by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). These encouraging measures aim at improving fisheries management and conservation in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
The EU and GFCM members have closely cooperated in order to undertake important steps to change the way GFCM works and to adopt a multiannual approach for fisheries management in the area.
This year's important development is the adoption of a multiannual management plan for the Adriatic as well as a set of management measures for the turbot. Moreover, following an EU proposal, GFCM has decided to carry on with its reform. It will propose to its members and to the FAO, by early 2014, a new structure and new governance of the organisation.
Commissioner Damanaki stated that: "Even if most of these decisions that were adopted by GFCM last week were initiated by the EU, it is clear that the important result we have achieved was possible due to the intense and close cooperation with all our partners. It is clear that we all share the same views on the decisions that need to be taken to address the state of resources in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and to ensure a level playing field”.
The European Commission has today informed the Faroe Islands authorities of the possibility of introducing restricting measures against them on herring quotas issue. Quotas on Atlanto-Scandian herring are settled after both consultation and agreement of all partner countries fishing herring and associated species in the Atlantic and Northern seas.
Faroe Islands have decided to withdraw from the consultations for 2013 and to increase their fishing quota of that species, while other partners agreed on a reduction of herring fishing quotas.
Commissioner Maria Damanaki said: "I am concerned about the persistent unsustainable behaviour of the Faroe Islands. They are acting in full disrespect of the necessary science-based management measures. While the EU fishermen and all other coastal states' fishermen are taking a serious hit through a 26% reduction of their quotas of last year, the Faroes are increasing unilaterally their quota by 145%."
Joint Statement by HR/VP Ashton and Commissioner Damanaki regarding Arctic Council decision on EU's observer status
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EU Commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, Maria Damanaki made today the following statement:
"The EU welcomes the Arctic Council's decision on the EU's application for permanent observership.
The EU considers the Arctic Council a primary international forum for Arctic cooperation and looks forward to stepping up its engagement with the Arctic partners in tackling the challenges faced by this region of increasing importance.
Further to previous exchanges with the Canadian authorities the EU will now work expeditiously with them to address the outstanding issue of their concern."
This morning, Ministers adopted a revised mandate to facilitate the next stage of negotiations between the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Commissioner Damanaki said:
"Council has made a good step forward and really tried to come closer to the EU parliament position in order to find a compromise. I think a deal is possible and I hope we can finalise a first reading agreement under the Irish Presidency. We need a fast deal and this can give the opportunity to the Commission to focus on issues relating to the implementation.
We need to solve the practicalities and at the same time we need to help our fishermen to adjust to the new situation, because this is a radical change for the way we fish. We have to give all possible support to our fisheries sector and our administrations. I think we have positive news this morning and I hope that in the coming weeks, we can work together with the Parliament and the Council to facilitate the procedure to come to a first reading deal."
The European Commission has today adopted an Action Plan to revitalise the marine and maritime economy in the Atlantic Ocean Area. The Action Plan follows from the Atlantic Strategy the Commission adopted in 2011. It aims to show how the EU's Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the "blue economy", which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020. At the same time, the environmental and ecological stability of the Atlantic Ocean must be preserved.
European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki,said: “The Atlantic plays an important role in Europe's history and identity. Our Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic will explore its immense potential for the future sustainable development of Europe. Together with our six Atlantic Members States, we will exploit the common challenges and opportunities the Atlantic offers us, from issues like coastal tourism and fisheries to renewable energy, mineral seabed exploration and marine biotechnology." Watch Commissioner Damanaki's statement .
The Atlantic area is home to numerous maritime activities. This includes both traditional activities, such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and shipping, as well as emerging ones such as offshore renewables and marine biotech. Individually, the Atlantic Member States (Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom) are doing a lot in each of these areas and some have adopted their own respective maritime strategies. The Action Plan now encourages the Member States to work together: to share information, costs, results and best practices, as well as generating ideas for further areas of cooperation.
Commissioner Damanaki participated in the "All aboard!" action campaign calling for the reform of Common Fisheries Policy. Commenting on the ongoing negotiations and the Council taking place on 13th and 14th May, the Commissioner stated:
"Substantial progress has been made in the negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council on the Commission’s proposal for a reformed common fisheries policy. The European Union is on the doorstep of a historical deal that would put fish stocks on the road to recovery, eliminate the wasteful practice of discarding and ensure that decisions are taken as close as possible to fishermen.
It is the responsibility of all institutions not to jeopardise a final deal because of disagreements over a few percentage points, one or two years, detailed technical rules or institutional power struggle. It is now time for both the European Parliament and the Council to make that extra final step towards each other that is necessary to come to a final agreement that will launch a new era of healthy fish stocks, viable fishing industries and more and better paid jobs for fishermen."
Speech at the annual meeting of the Chiefs of European Navies (Athens, 10 May 2013) - Commissioner Damanaki delivered the opening speech at the annual meeting of the Chiefs of European Navies (CHENS), an informal, independent and non-political forum whose membership includes the Chief of Navy of each European nation that has naval armed forces and is either a member of NATO or of the EU. More pictures
Commissioner Maria Damanaki met with Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Athens.