The Commission regrets that, despite substantial progress, Parliament and Council could not agree on the few outstanding issues at today's trilogue on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
The Commission remains committed to facilitate an agreement between the co-legislators that is in line with the key objectives of the Commission's proposal to support the implementation of a reformed Common Fisheries Policy and the further development and implementation of the Integrated Maritime Policy.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting of December 2013 took place in Brussels on 16-17 December 2013. The Council discussed and reached agreement on fishing opportunities for 2014 for the main commercial fish stocks of the Atlantic, the North Sea and the Black Sea.
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.
Commissioner Damanaki held a press conference after her meetings this morning with the Faroese authorities and stated: "We had constructive discussions with the Faroese government on a range of issues of mutual interest. On the mackerel question, I have made an improved offer. The Faroese government is now considering it and I expect to have a response before the end of this week."
Commissioner Damanaki is on her second day of visit to the Faroe Islands. She had meetings with the Prime Minister Johannesen, the Fisheries Minister Vestergaard and exchanged views witrh the Members of the Foreign Committee of the Faroese Parliament.
Commissioner Damanaki started a two-days visit to the Faroe Islands on Wednesday December 11th and met with the Faroese Prime Minister, Mr Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen. Commissioner Damanaki also met with the Fisheries Minister, Mr Jacob Vestergaard. During her official visit, she will also exchange views with the Foreign Committee of the Parliament of the Faroe Islands on issues of mutual interest.
Commissioner Damanaki welcomed today’s final vote of the European Parliament in support of a new, reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for the EU that she initiated in July 2011. The vote means that the CFP reform has been officially adopted and will now be applied throughout European Union waters as of 1 January 2014.
Commissioner Damanaki stated on the vote on the CFP reform: “Today's vote by the European Parliament means that we now have a policy which will radically change our fisheries and will pave the way for a sustainable future for our fishermen and our resources. I am very grateful to both Parliament and Council for their commitment, vision and overall support for the Commission's proposals which mean we can now return to sustainable fishing in the short term and put an end to wasteful practices. The new CFP is a driver for what is most needed in today's Europe: a return to growth and jobs for our coastal communities".
The Commission also took note of today's vote by the European Parliament on its proposal regulating fishing for deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic. On this vote, Commissioner Damanaki stated: "Now that the European Parliament has expressed its views on the proposal, I expect the Council to finally start its work on this regulation. The Commission is ready to facilitate constructive three-party discussions on this proposal. We must work together to protect the vulnerable deep-sea species and their habitats."
Commissioner Damanaki participated on Monday evening to several plenary debates during the session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. MEP Ulrike Rodust's report on the Common Fisheries Policy has been discussed and has been followed by exchange of views on the report of MEP Struan Stevenson on the Common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products. MEP Kriton Arsenis' report on deep-sea fisheries and the report of MEP Carmen Fraga Estévez on the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement have also been discussed. Votes will follow tomorrow.
Commissioner Damanaki delivered a speech on Thursday December 5th while participating in the Conference "European strategy for Blue Growth - Conditions for a Blue Economy in the Mediterranean" other speakers included Minister for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies Ms Nunzia de Girolamo, Minister for Environment, and Protection of Land and Sea, Andrea orlando, the Vice President of Federpesca and the President of Confindustria, Members of the Italian and the European Parliament as well as regional representatives.
Commissioner Damanaki is paying today, December 5th, an official visit to Rome. She is participating in a conference entitled "European Strategy for Blue Growth - Conditions for a Blue Economy in the Mediterranean", (cf. picture) in the presence of numerous keynote speakers. Commissioner will meet with Minister Andrea Orlando, in charge of the Environment, Land and Sea Protection. She will then participate in a parliamentary hearing within both the European and Agriculture Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and the Italian Senate, in a joint session. After this hearing, Commissioner Damanaki will meet with Ms Nunzia De Girolamo, in charge of Agriculture and later on with Mr Enzo Moavero Milanesi, in charge of European Affairs.
Topics of discussions during this visit will include the state of play of the main initiatives on Blue Growth,EU strategy for the Adriatic Ionian Region (EUSAIR), the implementation of the CFP reform as well as the upcoming year of the Mediterranean in 2014 and the successive Greek and Italian Presidencies of theCouncil of the European Union.
The Greek Government, conducted by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras paid an official visit to the European Commission today Wednesday December 4th. The Greek delegation participated in the plenary meeting of the College of Commissioners and worked over lunch on various current issues, ahead of the Greek presidency of the European Council in the first semester 2014. Bilateral meetings between Ministers and Commissioners are taking place as part of the government's visit.