Extraordinary European Parliament PECH Committee meeting: "structured dialogue" with the Commission on the political and legislative priorities for 2012
Extracts from the intervention of Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament PECH Committee, dedicated to the so-called "structured dialogue" with the Commission, on the political and legislative priorities for 2012: reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy (discussion in College on 13 July 2011), long term management plans and response to the nuclear accident in Japan.
• Reform of the European Common Fisheries Policy – Discussion in College on 13 July 2011
The main priority for the Commission in 2012 will be delivering the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
I am devoting my efforts to devising an ambitious, yet realistic and feasible project for European fisheries. I will make sure the Commission's proposals pivot around sustainability, conservation, decentralised decision making and industry empowerment.
We have all recognised - and I have had your support in building this foundation - that we have no choice but to radically change our production and consumption patterns if we want to keep our seas in good shape for future generations.
This is a radical shift and one with which I am happy to be associated, as I hope are you.
I know that you are anxiously awaiting the Commission's proposals to reform the CFP and I am happy to inform you that we are planning the adoption of the first package for 13 July 2011. This first package will have an overarching Communication, a new basic regulation, a new Common Market regulation, a Communication on the external dimension of our policy and a report on access to waters.
The future financial regulation will then follow towards the end of 2011.
Looking at the calendar, it is fair to say that 2012 will be the year of delivery. The time when we go from meaning what we say to doing what we say.
• Long term management plans – the Commission's deblocking efforts
The Commission is organizing a technical meeting on 19 April to discuss the pending institutional issues relating to multi-annual management plans. I hope that we will jointly clarify the role of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the decision-making process.
Without prejudging the result of these discussions and the forthcoming negotiations on the CFP reform, I intend to present proposals for multi-annual management plans which were built with input of scientist and stakeholders and which have already been properly assessed.
• Response to the nuclear accident in Japan - possible impacts on fishery products
In order to secure the safety of fishery products, the EU decided to reinforce controls on imports of food, including fishery products, from certain regions of Japan where production could be affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Each consignment of food from these regions has to be accompanied by a declaration – to be provided by the Japanese authorities – attesting that the product does not contain radioactive elements above the EU's maximum permitted levels. In addition, at least 10% of these consignments must undergo physical checks, including laboratory analysis. Products that do not pass these tests cannot be imported into the EU.
At the same time, I must emphasize that seafood imports from Japan represent only 0.1% of EU27 seafood imports in volume and 0.2% in value.
We are very concerned about the spread of radioactivity in the sea waters. We are asking for scientific advice on the impact of the accident on a wider sea area. Depending on such an impact, the Commission will consider further safety measures.